Aggressive Defense Against DUI And Traffic Charges

3 things can spark false positive on a DUI breath test

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | DUI |

If you’re on vacation in Hawaii or live on the islands year-round, the information provided in this blog post may come in handy, especially if a police officer pulls you over in a traffic stop. There are six words no one wants to hear when a police officer approaches their driver’s side window in a traffic stop. They are: Please step out of your vehicle. If you hear these words, it likely means the officer suspects DUI, and he or she might ask you to take a breath test.

If you have not consumed any alcohol, you might think it’s a simple misunderstanding, and you’ll clear matters up when you take a breath test. However, you might be disappointed if things don’t go your way. What this post will help you understand is that not consuming alcohol is not a guarantee that you will not face arrest for a suspected DUI. In fact, there are several things that can cause a positive result on a breath test.

Foods and beverages may register positive for alcohol on a DUI breath test

A breath test device detects the presence of alcohol on a person’s breath. Remember that the device cannot differentiate between the alcohol in a beer or glass of wine and alcohol used in other products. Alcohol is alcohol to the device. While you may not have imbibed an alcoholic beverage before getting pulled over in a traffic stop, if you drank an energy drink or ate fermented foods or foods with yeast in them, a breath device might register positive for alcohol.

Medications and drug products often contain alcohol

Have you ever taken over-the-counter cough and cold medicine? Has a doctor ever prescribed a drug for you to treat an injury or illness? If you take prescription meds or over-the-counter drugs, you have a significant chance of testing positive on a preliminary alcohol screening breath test. You might not have consumed beer or wine or any other type of alcohol-based beverage, but if you took medication that contains trace amounts of alcohol, you could be taken into police custody for suspected DUI if you fail a breath test.

Did you freshen your breath before going on a date?

Mouth wash and other oral hygiene products often contain alcohol. You might not even consider that the mouthwash you used before going on a date could land you in the back of a police car; however, if an officer pulls you over and gives you a breath test, the mouthwash could cause a positive result on the device. There are non-alcohol products available on the market, which might be something to keep in mind.

The purpose of this post is to inform you of several types of products that can cause a breath test device to register positive, even when you have not consumed alcoholic beverages. If a Hawaii police officer arrests you for suspected DUI, try to remain calm and do not hesitate to request legal support.