DWI: Things that cause false positive breath tests

Griffin Law, PLLC
Sep 24, 2020

If a North Carolina police officer makes a traffic stop, it might have something to do with suspecting a driver of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Facing DWI charges in this state or any other is no small matter. It is possible, however, to register a false positive on a breath test, which is one of many reasons it pays to know where to seek legal support if a problem arises before, during or following an arrest.

Many people eat pastries, pizza or other food items that contain yeast. When yeast reacts to other ingredients in the food, it can create small amounts of alcohol, which can then linger on a person’s breath after eating the food. If, during that time, the person in question takes a breath test, the results might register positive, even if he or she did not consume an alcoholic beverage.

Getting ready for a date often includes spraying cologne, using mouthwash or other personal hygiene habits. A preliminary DWI breath test might register positive due to alcohol being a main ingredient in a hygiene product. A person might also have a preexisting medical condition that sparks a false positive on a breath test, such as diabetes or auto-brewery syndrome.

If a North Carolina driver is arrested on suspicion of DWI, he or she may wind up facing criminal charges in court. A defendant who believes his or her rights were violated or that breath tests results were inaccurate may want to discuss his or her case with an experienced criminal defense attorney before heading to court. There are many things an attorney can do to provide strong support in such circumstances.

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