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Breathalyzers May Not Measure Blood Alcohol Levels Accurately

According to the National Substance Abuse Index, many breathalyzers measure methyl groups, a product of alcohol metabolism, rather the presence of ethyl alcohol itself. Therefore, you should be aware that many situations can affect a breathalyzer’s blood alcohol content (BAC) readings because thousands of compounds contain the methyl group.

Some of the situations that can cause a breathalyzer to register a higher BAC include:

Lifestyle and Health: An inaccurate BAC reading could be, for example, triggered by tobacco smokers and chewers who have higher acetaldehyde levels, dieters and diabetics who have higher acetone levels and those people consuming even a small amount of alcohol but suffering from acid reflux. Those suffering from lung conditions such as bronchitis, asthma and fibrosis may also yield inaccurate BAC levels or fail to register a reading at all. Even somebody with a raised body temperature after, for example, recovering from a fever or returning from a steamy sauna will often have inaccurate BAC readings.

Legal Substances: Over-the-counter and prescribed drugs that influence BAC readings include Nyquil, Vicks, Halls Iozenges, Ambesol, toothache drops and asthma inhalers. Everyday items like Listerine, Altoids and spearmint chewing gum can also affect readings.

Industrial Chemicals: Even the innocent activities of pumping gas, handling glue or paint or working in manufacturing workplaces can cause your body to absorb enough of the very chemicals that will result in false BAC readings.

If you’ve been charged with a DWI after failing a breathalyzer test, you should remember even the smallest details that may have affected the BAC readings and contact the DWI defense attorneys at The Kyle Law Firm today.

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