Tomasz Niezgoda
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Are there substances that interfere with the accuracy of a breath alcohol test?

Breath tests are a convenient and accurate way for law enforcement to determine the blood alcohol levels of drivers believed to be driving under the influence. While they are standard procedure and widely used, some may question their ability to produce reliable results in certain situations. Keep reading to hear what others believe may influence your next breath test.

Ben Michael

Ben Michael

Ben Michael, Director of Auto, Michael & Associates.

Mouthwash, Respiratory Illness, or Chronic Conditions

It’s possible, though highly unlikely, that other forms of alcohol like the kind found in mouthwash could trigger a false positive on a breathalyzer test. People with respiratory illnesses or chronic conditions may struggle to generate enough breath to get a useful reading. Beyond this, breathalyzers are one of the most reliable methods of measuring one’s blood alcohol content.

Mark Joseph

Mark Joseph

Mark Joseph, Founder of Parental Queries.

Cigarette Smoke, Inhalers, Foods, Drinks, and Some Medical Conditions

Factors such as mouthwash, cigarette smoke, some types of asthma inhalers, and certain foods/drinks can all interfere with a breath alcohol test. Additionally, medical conditions such as acid reflux or diabetes can affect the results of a breath alcohol test. It is important to inform the administering party of any known potential interferences before taking a breath alcohol test to ensure accurate results.

It’s important for the person conducting the test to take proper precautions when collecting samples (such as not allowing someone to rinse their mouth before providing a sample). These steps will help ensure accurate and reliable results from a breath alcohol test.

Malfunctioning equipment or improper calibration can also influence the accuracy of a breath alcohol test. The machine used to collect the breath sample must be calibrated appropriately, and any issues with malfunctioning equipment should be reported to the administering party immediately. Additionally, taking multiple samples over time can help identify inconsistent results that may indicate an issue with the machine or test administration. Having multiple consistent readings taken over time can further bolster accuracy and reliability.

Tomasz Niezgoda

Tomasz Niezgoda

Tomasz Niezgoda, Head of Marketing and Co-Founder at Surfer.

Alcohol-based Cold Medication

I recently had a breath alcohol test, but unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned. The night before I had taken a cold medication that contained an alcohol base to help with my sore throat and stuffy nose. Even though the amount of alcohol was very minimal, it still interfered with the results of the breathalyzer test and showed that I had more alcohol in my system than what was actually present. Thankfully, the police officer understood the situation and allowed me to provide alternative proof that I did not have any alcohol in my system.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors’ statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.