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Inaccurate Breathalyzer readings can result in a DUI charge

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2022 | DUI

It’s no secret that driving under the influence of alcohol is incredibly dangerous. Police forces across the state of Washington go to great lengths to keep intoxicated drivers off the road. When officers suspect that a driver could be under the influence of alcohol, they typically use tests like Breathalyzers to gauge the sobriety of the individual. However, Breathalyzers can give false readings, meaning a person who is completely innocent could receive a DUI charge.

One major cause of false Breathalyzer results

Acetone is something that can exist in the breath of an average person. Acetone has a sweet or fruity odor and is a byproduct of the way the body breaks down food. However, many people are unaware that acetone in the breath can cause false blood alcohol concentration (BAC) readings in Breathalyzers. Studies have shown that hypoglycemia is a notable cause of acetone in a person’s breath.

Those with diabetes can have high enough levels of acetone in their breath and that can result in false Breathalyzer readings of .06. The CDC estimates that over 23 million people in the United States have diabetes, and over five million of them don’t know they have diabetes. Also, fasting, or certain types of diets, can also cause higher levels of acetone in the breath. According to research, fasting can increase acetone levels high enough to give a false reading of .06 BAC.

Help is available for those charged

Unfortunately, an inaccurate Breathalyzer test can still result in a DUI charge. Those in Washington who have been accused of driving under the influence have the right to defend against the charge. Acquiring the services of a knowledgeable attorney could prove beneficial to one’s case. A trusted criminal defense lawyer experienced with DUI cases can safeguard the rights of those charged and guide them through this frustrating and often intimidating experience.

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