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4 reasons why a Breathalyzer test can fail

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense. Ohio police keep a watchful eye on potential drunk drivers. So far in 2017, more than 13,000 drivers have been stopped by police under the suspicion of OVI according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Many drivers assume that when they have been charged with an OVI, there is nothing that can be done, but that is not the case. Many times, Breathalyzers give false positives. There are a variety of reasons why this happens, and it can be just the ticket to fight an OVI case.

1. Mouthwash

Many people gargle a cup of mouthwash before heading out for the evening. Mouthwash does contain a small amount of alcohol in it, and if you were to take a breathalyzer test, an inaccurate blood alcohol content reading might be produced.

2. Calibration error

Breathalyzers need to be adequately calibrated. Since these devices rely on a silicon oxide sensor to determine what a person's BAC is, the sensor needs to be calibrated, so the reading is accurate. Calibration needs to be performed regularly or else the readings begin to degrade.

3. Improper Breath to Blood Conversion

Breathalyzers cannot actually measure the alcohol content in blood. Instead, they take the alcohol content in the driver's breath and multiplies it by 2,100 to reach the blood alcohol content. That 2,100 multiplier is not accurate for everyone. For some people, the conversion needs to be as low as 1,500, while for others it needs to be as much as 2,800. A slight difference can put a driver over the .08 limit.

4. Burping

Even burping during the Breathalyzer test can throw off the results. A Breathalyzer is supposed to verify the content of the driver's lungs, but burping makes it so it tests the content of the stomach, which can be vastly different. The police officer is supposed to make sure the driver does not hiccup or belch during the test.  

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