Can my environment register false breathalyzer positives?

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2019 | Blood Alcohol Tests |

It is important for Massachusetts drivers to understand that breathalyzers are not infallible. If a police officer has pulled you over and the breathalyzer registers an alcohol level on your breath that you are sure is too high, you should consider that your surroundings might be throwing off the breathalyzer. This is because substances exist that may register a false positive on the breathalyzer, and these substances might have influenced the results of your test.

According to BACtrack, a breathalyzer can register a false result because of substances that may contain an amount of alcohol. These substances may include a number of cleaning or construction substances. Fumes from paint can trigger false positives. A breathalyzer might also pick up on rubbing alcohol or varnish. In addition, there are certain adhesives and plastics that can register on a breathalyzer.

Because of this, you should pay close attention to where you are stopped by a police officer. If you are at a location where construction work has been recently conducted, it is possible for paint fumes or varnish from the site to waft through the air. You should also think about if your vehicle has been recently cleaned or refurbished, as your vehicle might still generate some chemical odor. Additionally, if you have been carrying high odor cleaning substances in your vehicle, it could be a factor in registering a false positive.

Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of a false breathalyzer reading should account for any strong substances nearby that could have produced the result. These substances could emanate from outside the vehicle or come from inside it. Also, there are toothache medications and mouthwashes that can register false positives, so consider what you have put in your mouth recently.

Because DUI and OUI cases vary from person to person, you should not consider this article as legal advice. Only read it for general informative purposes on blood alcohol test issues.