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I have never been one of those people who runs with the wrong crowd, but about six months ago, I knew that I was in trouble. I was with someone when she did something against the law, and it made me a suspected accomplice. I knew that I needed help to prove my innocence regarding the involvement, so I started going through and talking with different criminal attorneys. I was able to find a great lawyer that really understood my position, and he did everything possible to prove my innocence. This blog is all about proving your innocence in court, so that you can move on with your life.

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Two Medications You Didn't Know Could Cause High Breathalyzer Readings

by Ray Barnes

There are several things that can result in erroneous breathalyzer readings, and medication is one of them. Even if you didn't drink a drop of alcohol, use of certain medicines can cause you to test positive for alcohol or result in a higher reading that doesn't accurately correlate with the amount of alcohol you did consume. Here are two you should be aware of.

Oral Pain Medication

It's common for people with toothaches or other oral pain issues to reach for the nearest remedy to ease the discomfort. However, many over-the-counter pain medications actually contain alcohol, which can affect the results of a breathalyzer test, depending on how soon after applying the medication you are required to blow into the machine.

For example, the popular oral anesthetic Anbesol contains 70 percent alcohol. Another medication, Dent's toothache drops, contains 60 percent alcohol. Breathalyzer machines do a poor job of differentiating between medicinal alcohol and the alcohol contained in beer, wine, and similar beverages, so you may get a false reading if you have to blow into one of those machines soon after using these remedies.

Asthma Medicine

Believe it or not, some inhaled asthma medications will give false readings and for a similar reason, they contain compounds from methyl group structures. Breathalyzers are designed to detect methyl alcohol (ethanol), but they will give positive readings if they detect anything from the methyl groups. Since inhalers are designed to deliver medication directly to the lungs, you may end up with false readings if you're pulled over after using your medication.

Having asthma can cause additional problems during a DWI traffic stop. To get an accurate reading, breathalyzers typically require a certain volume of air. For instance, Alcotest requires at least 1.5 liters of lung air to function properly. Since asthma can have a negative impact on a person's lung function, it can make it difficult for the individual to blow into the machine for a long enough period of time. This may result in inaccurate readings or not being able to complete the test at all.

Getting Legal Help

In situations like this, it's possible to overcome false breathalyzer readings. If you weren't showing any other signs of being intoxicated (e.g. swerving on the road, slurred speech), this may be enough to get the judge to doubt the accuracy of the breathalyzer test. Providing medical reports that prove you were using certain medications that would affect breathalyzer readings can also help your case.

It's essential you hire a DWI attorney who can help you overcome the challenges of this type of case. For more information, contact a lawyer close to you.

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