Medical Issues that Affect DWI Breath Tests
What Medical Conditions Can Cause Inaccurate Breath Tests?
Too many people assume that because they blew a .08 on the Intoxylzer breath test, their blood alcohol content was measured accurately and they have no defense against DWI charges. That's not necessarily the case.
There are a number of medical factors that can affect the accuracy of a breath test, in addition to problems with the Intoxylizer equipment itself and problems with the administration of the breath test.
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Inaccurate Breath Test Results and Airflow
The Intoxilyzer and other breath test machines require an adequate sample of deep lung air for at least five seconds in order to achieve a valid result. This can be difficult for people with lung problems such as asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema and for some people with heart disease.
Other Sources of Alcohol on Your Breath
Everyone's body chemistry is slightly different. Some of these differences relate to medical conditions and some are simply the result of individual differences. One of these differences is alcohol or substances that are read by the breathalyzer machine as alcohol. Acetone is one such substance, and it can be found in the breath of people with diabetes.
If there is any possibility that your breath test was inaccurate due to your body’s natural chemistry or due to any diabetic (or other) condition, our attorney will be able to build a solid defense on your behalf. Our skilled Dallas DWI attorneys are experienced investigators, and we work with experts in different fields in order to make your testimony stronger and maximize your chance for a positive outcome.
Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is similar to acid reflux disease in that a person has symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, abdominal pain and difficulty swallowing. It may feel like food has not gone down properly or that belching will bring food back up the esophagus. The symptoms are worse with spicy, fried, and fatty foods, alcohol, and caffeine. If you have a hiatal hernia, you may also have GERD. It is also more common in people who are overweight, who smoke, or who are pregnant.
Many people do not know they have GERD, yet it can create significant problems with blood alcohol tests. Breath testing machines can fail to work properly because it is measuring alcohol or alcohol-related chemicals coming from the stomach or esophagus, rather than the lungs, giving a false reading.
Contact Crain Lewis Brogdon, LLP today if you have been charged with driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.