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False positive breath test and DWI arrest

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2022 | DWI/DUI |

Many people in New Jersey understand how unsettling it can be to get pulled over in a traffic stop. If a police officer approaches, issues a speed warning and tells a driver that he or she is free to go, most times, it all works out fine. However, if the patrol officer suspects a driver of DWI, things might get a lot worse before they get better, especially if an arrest takes place.  

Preliminary breath tests are not always accurate 

A roadside, preliminary alcohol screening breath test is different than a chemical blood test that measures a person’s alcohol content level. A roadside breath test merely registers how much alcohol is in the air that is breathed into the device device. These tests are not 100% reliable, and there are various factors that could spark a positive, even if the test taker had not consumed any alcohol before driving.  

Things that can cause a false positive on an alcohol breath test 

There are certain health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, which, for various reasons, can cause a preliminary breath screening device to register positive even though the individual has not consumed alcohol. There are also numerous kinds of food, such as cinnamon rolls, breads or sugar-free gum that can produce a similar false positive result. Because of this, it is possible that a person who did not drink any alcohol before getting behind the wheel could wind up being arrested for suspected DWI.  

What to do if that happens 

It is possible for a person who has been arrested in New Jersey for suspected DWI to challenge the charges against him or her. Most individuals considering this as an option meet with an experienced criminal defense attorney before heading to court. An attorney can explain how to formally contest the charges and can represent the client’s personal interest throughout the criminal court proceedings.