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What can raise BAC other than alcoholic drinks?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | dui/dwi |

A traffic stop can be frightening. Even more concerning is when an alcohol breath test renders a positive result, especially when you have not been drinking.

However, you are not necessarily without a valid defense against the charges. A key part of preparation is knowing the reasons these tests can provide misleading results and what can raise blood-alcohol content besides alcoholic beverages.

How breath tests work

Breath tests can only find signs of alcohol, but they cannot determine the source. This means that anything you ingest that contains alcohol could affect the test, even if it is not a drink.

It is also important to understand that preliminary alcohol screenings used by officers in the field are not as accurate as evidential breath tests at the station. Therefore, these PAS tests can give false positives more easily. This is because they are more sensitive to different types of alcohol in various products.

Common items that can raise BAC levels

Over-the-counter medicines are one example of items that can raise a BAC. For instance, some cold and cough syrups contain alcohol. Mouthwashes and breath sprays also often contain alcohol, which can affect a breath test. In fact, some mouthwashes have up to 27% alcohol content. Likewise, inhalers for asthma or other respiratory conditions can produce a false positive.

For this reason, be sure to read the warning labels on your medications. These may advise against driving because these substances can impair perception. In such instances, the court may still have a legitimate basis for charging you with driving under the influence.

Consequences of refusing a breath test in Maryland

In Maryland, refusing a breath test can have serious consequences. The state has an “implied consent” law. This means that by driving, you agree to submit to chemical tests if an officer suspects you of DUI.

Refusing a test can lead to immediate penalties. The state could suspend your driver’s license for 270 days for a first refusal. For a second refusal, the suspension lasts for two years. You may also face fines and possible jail time.

Determining what to do when facing charges for a DUI can be stressful and confusing. However, the help of an experienced lawyer can protect your freedom and your future. Do not hesitate to seek legal guidance after a DUI stop to defend your rights and increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

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