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What Foods and Beverages Can Cause False Positives for Alcohol Intoxication?

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When a driver is suspected of drinking, they must take what is called a Breathalyzer test. All law enforcement and police officers that are out on the field heavily rely on these alcohol-testing devices to determine someone’s blood alcohol concentration. But how accurate are they? These devices used to test the levels of alcohol in a person’s system are not without error. They can sometimes even give results that are false positive. But, if you fail a Breathalyzer test, this does not always mean you are guilty of drunk driving. What Foods Can Cause False Positives for Alcohol Intoxication?

Some Food and Beverages Can Give a False Positive

Some different foods can even give off a false positive on a Breathalyzer test. You can fail a breath test due to something that you have eaten. The devices used to measure the amount of alcohol in your system and on your breath rely on one of the following different technologies. This could be either a fuel cell sensor, a semiconductor oxide sensor, or an infrared spectrometer. The alcohol concentration on your breath is linked to the amount in your blood at that time.

More About Food and Beverages Can Give a False Positive

Specific typed of foods and beverages do contain traces of alcohol. As an example, wine is frequently used during mean preparation. If it isn’t all the way cooked out, then eating alcohol is the same as drinking it. Things like pizza and pastries can also produce alcohol because it includes yeast. Yeast required a fermentation process to make the dough rise in these foods, producing a small amount of alcohol. If you have recently consumed some bread before getting tested with a Breathalyzer test, there is a risk of running into an incorrect reading.

Which Food Can Contribute To False Positive?

The main point here is that the amount of alcohol found in food will not get you drunk, but it can still get you into some trouble as you could potentially blow a false positive. In general, the foods that can give you a false positive for alcohol intoxication can include:

  • Protein bars
  • Ripe or fermented fruits
  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Honeybuns
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Bread (white or sourdough)
  • Hot sauce
  • Dishes made with alcoholic beverages
  • Sugar-free gums
  • Energy drinks
  • Fermented soda
  • “non-alcoholic” beer or wine

Other Reasons for a False Positive

If you are sick or have certain medical conditions, a Breathalyzer test can also give false-positive results. Pharmacists, healthcare professionals, and even legal professionals can all agree that many medical conditions can cause a false positive and even lead to a DUI. Those who have diabetes and are struggling with it will have high levels of acetone on their breath. People with acid reflux can also test differently on a Breathalyzer test. Heart disease can even trigger a false positive. Heart disease causes a different smell to your breath, and a Breathalyzer can pick up on that. Some household items can also cause a false positive, including certain vitamins, sleep aids or cough syrup, mouthwashes, breath fresheners, and even denture cream or adhesives. To sum it up, Breathalyzer tests will never be 100 percent accurate all of the time. If you do end up getting charged with a DUI based on a false positive result, make sure you challenge the test results. These false-positive results should be taken seriously because of the legal repercussions and could also do a number on your reputation. There should be no reason why you should be convicted of a DUI for eating a certain kind of food.

Get Help For Alcoholism at Evoke Wellness at Miramar

The majority of breathalyzers that come back as intoxicated are caused by actual alcohol consumption, not foods or beverages. The best thing you can do if you or someone you know has an alcohol addiction is to seek treatment. Our addiction specialists at Evoke Wellness at Miramar are not only able to help you but also understand what you are going through.
There are many treatment programs and medical detox programs to help you get sober. The alternative is a DUI or worse. You are welcome to call us at any time, as we are available 24 hours a day. All calls are free and confidential.