Why you should consider options besides a breathalyzer in DUI cases

Often times people are arrested on a police officerís suspicion of drunk driving. The driver may have had only a drink or two but might still not have that feeling of being completely under the influence of alcohol. The next step is for a breathalyzer, blood test, or even a urine test to be taken by the suspected DUI offender. The breathalyzer is the most customary choice among presumed drunk drivers. This choice often ruins an personís chances to prove their innocence. A number of pieces of advice should be taken into account when choosing which alcohol test to take.

1.) Avoid the breathalyzer completely if you are someone who diets often, especially low-carb dies. Even if you merely havenít had much to eat in an hour or two, it is best to choose another DUI test. When someone is on a low-carb diet or hasnít eaten in awhile, there is a creation of glucose in the liver that gets inhibited creating a plummet in blood sugar. This causes ketoacidosis , creating a by-product called acetone. Acetone is very similar to acetaldehyde, both of which are read as alcohol by a breathalyzer. Even an entirely healthy person who consumed only a few drinks of alcohol will experience embellished, fake symptoms of drunk driving.

2.) Using breath spray or mouthwash is another common, but often fatal mistake driverís make. Many drivers first instinct when they see those flashing lights behind them is to grab their mouthwash in hopes to cover up the smell of alcohol on their breath. However, what many people donít realize is that the mouthwash they use has 27% alcohol in it and that alcohol can stay in their oral cavity for 20 minutes and will display an inaccurate and abnormally high reading on a breathalyzer.

3.) Smoking cigarettes can cause a fairly large rise in the breathalyzer reading. The lungs of smokers contain greater amounts of a compound called acetaldehyde than the lungs of non-smokers. Acetaldehyde is produced in the liver as a result in the metabolism of alcohol and breathalyzerís cannot decipher alcohol from acetaldehyde.

4.) An inaccurate reading result from something as simple as burping before taking the breathalyzer. Even if you have acid reflux it is advisable to request to give a blood sample instead. The reason for this is similar to #2 in that belching and acid reflux can force the alcoholic gases in your stomach into your esophagus, throat, and oral cavity, where again, they will stay for up to 20 minutes. This causes unusually high and inaccurate readings.

5.) Diabetics are plagued with low blood sugar levels every day. These people should always avoid the breath test for the same reasons as anyone who is on a low-carb diet or hasnít eaten in awhile. The low-blood sugar creates a false reading of acetaldehyde, not alcohol. Even worse, diabetics who have low-blood sugar almost always experience symptoms of lightheadedness, faintness, lack of coordination, blurry vision, and slurred speech; all of which are symptoms that a police officer might deem as intoxication.


Last updated Sept. 14, 2007

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