When officers suspect a teenager is driving under the influence of alcohol, they often ask for a breath sample. If a breath test indicates your son or daughter has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02% or higher, an arrest is likely imminent. Still, breath tests are not always accurate.
You want to make sure your teenager will have a bright future. Because he or she will likely face a variety of legal and other consequences for a DUI conviction, you must be ready to mount an aggressive defense. Attacking the validity of the breath test’s results may be one strategy. Three common situations may cause a testing device to produce a false-positive result.
Officers should receive adequate training on using breath tests properly. This includes device operation, storage and calibration. Regrettably, though, when an officer administers the test, he or she may make a critical mistake. Furthermore, if the officer does not provide sufficient instruction and supervision, your son or daughter may inadvertently take the test incorrectly. Because teens have a lower BAC threshold than adults, there is not much room for error.
Breath tests should measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream. Eating certain foods, such as protein bars or ripe fruits, may confuse the testing device, however. Similarly, if your teenager follows a restrictive diet, like the popular keto one, the breath test may incorrectly indicate he or she has a BAC above Florida’s legal limit.
- Medical conditions
While breath tests go through standardization processes to remove inconsistencies, they are often not good at accounting for medical conditions. If the teen driver in your family has diabetes, acid reflux, GERD or other medical conditions, a breath test may give a false-positive reading. The same is true if your child takes certain medications, such as inhaled albuterol. An officer should be aware of the potential for error and ask whether a health condition could affect test results.