If you are an adult in Georgia and have a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08%, you may not legally operate a motor vehicle. To measure your BAC, officers may ask you to breathe into a testing device during a roadside stop. Refusing to do so may expose you to significant legal penalties.
Failing a DUI breath test also puts you in legal jeopardy. Unfortunately, though, breath tests do not always produce accurate results. If you have indigestion, the testing device may erroneously indicate your BAC is above the legal limit.
Indigestion and false-positive test results
The alcohol you consume should pass in one direction from your mouth into your esophagus and through the rest of your digestive system. Nevertheless, if you have indigestion, acid reflux or GERD, alcohol may reenter your throat.
Taking a DUI breath test while experiencing digestive issues may cause the test to measure the alcohol in your throat instead of your blood stream. This may lead to a false-positive test result.
Medication and false-positive test results
The symptoms of indigestion and related medical conditions can be unpleasant. To keep your symptoms under control, you may take over-the-counter or prescription medication.
Many heartburn medications list alcohol as an ingredient. Consuming these medications shortly before taking a DUI breath test may result in a false-positive reading.
Your legal defense
While officers may use a failed breath test as a reason to arrest you, you do not have to blindly accept the test results. If your indigestion or treatment regimen caused you to fail a breath test, you may be able to avoid the criminal consequences that often accompany a DUI conviction.