Chemical and physical evidence can play a major role in criminal proceedings. Many jurors and prosecutors think of physical evidence as the most convincing kind available, especially when compared with witness testimony.
However, not all physical or chemical evidence is as reliable as prosecutors would like people to think. The chemical breath tests often used in impaired driving cases can return false positives and lead to innocent people facing jail time and damage to their reputations.
There are many ways that chemical breath tests can fail, including if the person taking the test has one of the two medical conditions below.
Asthma controlled with inhalers
Asthma is a respiratory condition that affects adults and children alike. Those with more severe asthma symptoms may require inhalers to keep their symptoms under control or respond to an emergency asthma attack that could occur at any time.
If someone has recently used certain kinds of inhalers, that could result in a false positive on a breath test. Someone who hasn’t even had a single drink could seem incredibly drunk based on their chemical test results.
Diabetes or other conditions that cause ketoacidosis
Issues with your blood sugar can cause your body to act in unusual ways. If someone’s body goes into a state of ketoacidosis, one of the consequences will be the release of acetone. Your body gets rid of that acetone through respiration. When you exhale, small amounts will be present in the breath that leaves your body. That could trigger a false positive on a breath test during a traffic stop.
Exploring how a breath test returned results that don’t align with your experience the night of your arrest can help you defend against impaired driving charges. When your future is on the line, don’t try to handle the situation without experienced legal assistance.