Charged With A DUI Even Though You Don't Drink? 4 Things That Can Cause A False Positive On Breathalyzer Tests

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Charged With A DUI Even Though You Don't Drink? 4 Things That Can Cause A False Positive On Breathalyzer Tests

6 October 2015
 Categories: Law, Blog

You don't drink, but you still tested positive on the field sobriety test that included a breathalyzer test at a check stop or if you were driving a little carelessly. Now you're wondering how you could test positive when you hadn't been drinking. The first thing you'll need to do is contact a good defense attorney. The next thing you should do is look at the potential causes for false positives on breathalyzer tests.

Chewing Tobacco

You might be surprised to know that some brands of chewing tobacco contain ethyl alcohol. As you chew your tobacco, the ethyl alcohol is absorbed into the soft tissues in your mouth. When you breathe into the breathalyzer, it picks up on the mouth alcohol content, which creates a false positive.

Mouth Wash

You have a problem with bad breath. To keep the foul odors to a minimum, you gargle with mouth wash several times a day and you spray your mouth with breath spray. Unfortunately, mouth wash and breath spray both contain alcohol.

Each time you gargle or use your breath spray, the alcohol content is being absorbed into the lining of your stomach. Not only that, but if you sprayed your mouth right before the officer walked up to your car, your mouth was coated with alcohol and could have registered on the test.


If you wear dentures, you probably use denture adhesive to keep your dentures in place. Many denture adhesives contain alcohol. You apply a thick coat of denture adhesive to your dentures and place them in your mouth.

The alcohol content is then released into your mouth, which can create mouth alcohol that a breathalyzer can detect. In addition, if you also use mouthwash – as described above – the mouthwash could be trapped in your dentures, which will also elevate your mouth alcohol content.


If you have diabetes, and your blood sugar is out of control, you can become dizzy, disoriented and confused. Those are the signs that officers look for when determining if a person has been drinking. When your blood sugar dips, your body may go into a condition known as ketoacidosis and produce acetone, which breathalyzers read as alcohol. Add the dizziness and disorientation together with the acetones on your breath, and you may end up with a false positive that puts you in legal trouble.

For more information, contact a lawyer like Jeffrey D. Larson, Attorney at Law.