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Can a breathalyzer test be wrong?

A breathalyzer test is often used to prove that someone has been driving under the influence of alcohol. It can be combined with other tests, but sometimes police don't do everything they can to make an accurate assessment. Unfortunately, this piece of machinery is not always correct, and that can lead to a charge for something you aren't guilty of. You can use some of this information in your defense, though, especially if these common items were present during your test.

Your case could be thrown out, for instance, if you can show that you very recently took liquid cough syrup or used a mouthwash containing alcohol. To avoid this coming up on a test and affecting your score, an officer is meant to stay with you and monitor you for 15 minutes. If the officer doesn't, then he or she may not have done the job or your test correctly.

Another issue that can throw off a breathalyzer test is a belch. You will likely burp up more alcoholic fumes than your breath would normally have if you burp during a test, and that can lead to a false positive.

Some medications may lead to false positives, as can some medical conditions. It's important that if you're charged with drunk driving but haven't been drinking or haven't had enough to register as high of a result as you received that you defend yourself from the start. Your attorney can help you build up a case against your charge, so you have a chance to win your case or reduce the penalties involved.

Source: ABC7 News, "Common Items Can Cause Breathalyzer Test Failures," accessed Jan. 12, 2016

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