Did you know that 4 things that you probably did today can affect the result of a DUI/DWI test?
1. Being on Atkins Diet
Atkins diet is a low-carb, high protehttp://www.ndaa.org/pdf/breath_testing_for_prosecutors.pdfn and high fat diet that changes the metabolism of the person – from burning glucose first into burning fat directly for energy. Cutting out carbs forces the body to burn fats, effectively turning the body into ketosis.
The repercussions of this is that the body produces ketones during ketosis. Ketones produce alcohol, isopropyl alcohol to be exact. Diabetes also does the same thing.
One type of Ketone is “acetone”. Based on a study done by the U.S. Department of Transportation, acetone interferes with BAC reading. It increases the result of BAC by 0.01% to 0.02%.
Verdict: Yes. The amount of alcohol produced by the body can affect the breath test.
Some netizens and websites claim that “Burping can cause you to fail the DUI/DWI breath test.” In fact, the relationship between burping and breath test is quite a common topic. You can review a sample news report about burping and breath test in this article.
Does burping really affect the Breath test result?
Based on the manual released by Ndaa.org, it is “unlikely” (pg. 25, 1st paragraph) that burping can skew the test result. However, NDAA also specified that the person should not burp 20 minutes before he takes the test. This is also stated on a reviewer for law students. This implies that “it is possible” that burping can skew the test result.
If you need more information, please refer to some reported DUI cases that were dismissed due to unexpected burping.
Verdict: Plausible — Unlikely, but it’s possible.
3. Taking Prescription Drugs
Some prescription drugs are proven to trigger false-positive result in a breath or blood test. Askdocweb.com listed down these prescription drugs, including the false-positives they induce. Let us review some of the most common prescription drugs:
*Note: We have no intention of discouraging the public from using these medicines. They are all proven to be effective.
a. Dextromethorphan (Cough Suppressant)
Brands: Vicks Formula 44m, Primatene-M, etc
This type of medicine relieves runny nose, sneezing, cough, sinus congestions and other symptoms of common colds. This medicine has proven to show traces of opium during the breath or blood test.
b. Ibuprofen (Pain Reliever)
Brands: Advil, Nuprin, Motrin, Midol, Trendar, etc.
This is a popular pain-reliever. It shows false-positive results for marijuana.
c. Ephedrine and Phenypropanolamine (Decongestant)
Brands: Dristan Nasal Spray, Vicks Nasal Spray, Sudafed, etc.
This medicine cures nasal congestions caused by common colds, sinusitis, hay fever and allergies. It induces a false-positive result for amphetamine.
Verdict: Yes. The answer is backed up by decades of research.
4. Using Mouthwash & Breath spray
In this video, Dr. Phil demonstrated how a person can get a false positive BAC test by using mouthwash and breathe spray. He invited Keith Notacker, CEO & Founder of BACtrack, to help him conduct the test.
The test was done in this order:
The lawyer reformatted the BACtrack device.
The 3 volunteers used mouthwash, breathe spray and chew mint.
After a few seconds, they blew into the BACtrack continuously for 5 seconds.
Dr. Phil reviewed the data gathered.
“Alcohol Readings require 20 minutes from alcohol ingestion – so that the alcohol is actually absorbed” – Dr. Phil
- Lawyer #1 (used mouthwash): BAC result = 0.49
- Lawyer #2 (used breath spray): BAC result = 0.44
- Lawyer #3 (used mints): BAC result = 0.00
Verdict: Plausible. Mints are okay, but breath spray & mouthwash can lead to false BAC reading. Hence, using mouthwash and breath spray must be avoided 20 minutes before taking a breath test.
Drug Driving in Nevada
False Reporting of a Crime in Las Vegas