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Can Being on a Specific Diet Cause a False Positive on a Breathalyzer?

 Posted on July 19,2022 in DUI

Will County DUI Defense AttorneyMore and more adults are paying close attention to the way their diet influences their health. Low-carb diets like the keto diet and carnivore diet are becoming increasingly popular – especially for those with chronic medical problems. Because these diets change the body’s chemistry and release certain chemicals into the bloodstream, there has been some concern regarding the diets’ effect on alcohol breath tests or breathalyzers. Many people wonder if being on the keto diet can increase their chances of being accused of drunk driving.

Drunk Driving Charges and Ketones

Breathalyzers or breath tests measure how much alcohol is on a person’s breath. Roadside breathalyzer tests are used as a preliminary screening measure and often provide police probable cause for a drunk driving arrest. Evidentiary breath tests are conducted at the police station and often play a crucial role in driving under the influence (DUI) cases.  

When someone is on a diet that restricts or eliminates carbohydrates, the body breaks down fat in the body and uses the fat as fuel. A ketone called acetone is released during the fat-burning process. This may cause a person’s breath to contain isopropyl alcohol. Low-quality breathalyzers may not be able to differentiate between isopropyl alcohol produced naturally by the body and ethanol alcohol from wine, beer, or liquor. This can cause a breath alcohol test to show an inflated blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

Questioning the Validity of Breath Alcohol Tests

High-quality breath alcohol tests should be sophisticated enough to tell the difference between naturally occurring bodily chemicals and liquor. However,  this does not mean that a person’s diet or medical condition may not influence his or her BAC reading. Even something as simple as acid reflux has been shown to throw off BAC results. The bottom line is that breath alcohol tests are not infallible.

If you or a loved one were charged with drunk driving, it is important to work with a skilled DUI defense lawyer. Your attorney can look at issues that can lead to inaccurate breath alcohol or blood alcohol content results and make a case for your innocence.

Contact a Will County DUI Defense Lawyer

Kane County criminal defense attorney Patricia Magaña represents individuals accused of driving under the influence, drug possession, theft, and other criminal offenses. She can help you understand your options, protect your rights, and advocate for you during a criminal trial. Ms. Magaña also represents clients during Secretary of State driver’s license reinstatement hearings.

Call the Law Office of Patricia Magaña, LLC at 630-448-2001 to learn more about how we can help you. Set up your free, confidential case evaluation today. Se Habla Español.





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