If you have a DUI charge pending against you, you may feel like there is nothing you can do to avoid a conviction. Many people in the Mesa area, like you, find themselves in similar situations. Up until now, you probably never thought you could end up with criminal charges for driving while under the influence without consuming enough alcohol to affect your movements and cognitive abilities. However, false positives on breath tests are quite common.
A DUI charge may seem like an insurmountable incident. However, if you feel you received a DUI charge erroneously, here are a few possible reasons for false positives that may aid you in your DUI defense.
Did you use mouthwash before your arrest?
If you are an oral health enthusiast, chances are you use mouthwash. Some mouthwashes contain alcohol. After rinsing and gargling with mouthwash, it is possible for you to blow a positive on a breath test. The alcohol in mouthwash can leave behind residue in your mouth that is detectable by a breath testing device, but not enough to affect your actions, words and thoughts or show up in other chemical samples, such as blood and urine.
Did the officer use hand sanitizer before testing you?
Some alcohol containing products like hand sanitizer can affect your breath test results. You might be able to use this defense if the officer who administered your breath test used hand sanitizer first. The alcohol in the hand sanitizer is detectable by breath test devices when people who have recently used it hold them.
Have you checked your medications?
Some medications can also trigger false readings on breath test devices. For example, if you take allergy and sleep medications, these could leave traces of substances behind that lead to wrong readings on breath test devices. Also, some medicines produce symptoms that may cause officers to believe you are under the influence of alcohol, even when you are not.
Did the officer properly calibrate the breath test device?
Breath test devices require regular service and calibrations to ensure proper operations. Though it is not easy to know for sure if the device you tested on was in good working condition, you may put in a legal request for the maintenance records. If there are discrepancies or issues with the logs or the way the device was maintained, the courts may mitigate your DUI charge or toss it out.