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Facing DUI because of a botched breath test?

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2022 | Drunk Driving |

Being pulled over in a traffic stop by a New Jersey police officer can lead to an arrest and subsequent criminal charges. It is a misguided belief to assume that, as long as a person is innocent, he or she will ultimately be released from the traffic stop without any additional legal problems. In fact, if a person takes a DUI breath test, chances of a false positive may be as high as 23 percent in some cases.

Various issues can cause a breath test device to register a false positive for alcohol. It is important to understand the difference between a preliminary alcohol screening (given on the roadside during a traffic stop) and a Breathalyzer test (typically administered after an arrest and subject to implied consent laws). The most notable difference between these two tests is that a person may refuse a preliminary breath test without fear of administrative or legal penalties.

Numerous products that can make a breath test register positive for alcohol

If a person used mouthwash before getting behind the wheel to drive, he or she may register positive for alcohol on a breath test device. Alcohol is a main ingredient in many mouthwash products. In addition to mouthwash, the following list of products may also cause a breath test device to register positive, even if the person taking the test has not consumed an alcoholic beverage:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toothpaste
  • Bleach
  • Aftershave, perfume or cologne
  • Body spray
  • Energy drinks
  • Hot Sauce
  • Fermented foods

Registering positive for alcohol on a breath test constitutes probable cause for a police officer to make a DUI arrest. Even if a person knows that he or she has not consumed alcohol, it is always best to cooperate during an arrest; otherwise, additional legal problems may arise.

Refuting DUI charges in court

An experienced criminal defense attorney can provide support to any New Jersey resident who is facing DUI charges. Requesting a meeting with an attorney is a logical first step to take, especially if a person knows that a breath device has registered a false positive. An experienced attorney’s support can help a defendant mitigate his or her circumstances.