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Challenging The Breathalyzer Results In Your DWI Case: Understanding How Acid Reflux Could Cause An Inaccurate Result

One of the key pieces of evidence in many DWI cases is the results of a breathalyzer test that was administered at the time of the defendant's arrest. The reason these test results are so important is that they are intended to provide medical proof that the individual was under the influence of alcohol while driving. This all but eliminates any defense with alternative explanations for the defendant's seemingly drunk behavior.

The problem is, while these tests are generally considered very accurate, that accuracy can be called into question if the defendant suffers from acid reflux. Below, you will learn more about how this common digestive problem can impact breathalyzer results and how this information may be able to aid in your defense.

Understanding The Science Behind The Breathalyzer

To understand how the results of a breathalyzer can be influenced by acid reflux, you will first need to understand how the machine gets these results in the first place.

When alcohol enters your bloodstream, a small amount of this alcohol will be discharged into your breath. By measuring the amount of alcohol that is present in your deep lung air, a breathalyzer test is able to calculate how much alcohol is present in your bloodstream.

In order to provide the most accurate results, it is important to ensure that the breath that is being tested comes from the individual's lungs rather than their mouth or nose, since deep lung air is closest to the bloodstream. To accomplish this goal, the breathalyzer will not start measuring the alcohol content in your breath until a few seconds after you begin blowing into the machine.

Understanding What Happens When You Get Acid Reflux

When you get acid reflux, a portion of the contents in your stomach will rise up into your esophagus and potentially into your mouth as well. These stomach contents will consist primarily of digestive acids. This is what gives you the burning sensation that is so commonly associated with acid reflux. However, these stomach contents can also include any undigested foods or beverages that are currently present in your body, including any alcohol you may have consumed recently.

Understanding How The Two Are Related

When you blow into a breathalyzer machine, the alcohol that is present in your mouth as a result of acid reflux can mix with the alcohol that is present in your deep lung air. When this happens, the machine will inevitably provide you with a result that reflects a much higher blood alcohol content than you truly have. In fact, this can result in the breathalyzer stating that you are legally impaired when in fact, you are well under the legal limit.

By presenting evidence that you suffer from chronic acid reflux, you will be able to cast reasonable doubt on the results of your breathalyzer test. In the end, this can go a long way towards getting your DWI case dismissed. Talk to an attorney such as Follender Law Offices, P.L.L.C. for more guidance about your case.