Joseph A. Lombardo
Breathalyzers are a common method of testing someone for alcohol in their system. Often, drivers suspected of driving while intoxicated (DWI) submit to breath tests to determine if they should be criminally charged.
Breathalyzers are not always accurate, and certain medications may affect the results of the test, leading to unjust criminal charges. A whole host of medications can affect breathalyzers, including asthma medicines, cough syrup, oral gels, and even mouthwash. If you believe the results of a breathalyzer were skewed because of some medication you had recently taken, an attorney can help you challenge your DWI charges. The trick is proving that the results might have been affected by your medicine. Evidence like prescriptions from a doctor or even receipts for over-the-counter medicine may be helpful to your case.
If you were recently charged with a DWI and take certain medications or use certain oral hygiene products, your BAC results might be inaccurate. Our Atlantic City DWI defense lawyers can help you challenge the DWI. For a free case assessment, call the Lombardo Law Group, LLC at (609) 418-4537.
Medications That Can Affect the Results of a Breathalyzer Test in New Jersey
Numerous medications, hygiene products, and oral medicines can affect a breathalyzer and lead to inaccurate results. Unfortunately, those results are often used to justify DWI charges. It is possible that a driver who recently took medication might have an inflated BAC after taking a breath test. When discussing your DWI charges with our Camden County DWI defense lawyers, you should also disclose any medications you take that might affect your BAC.
Asthma medicine has been known to affect breathalyzers. The medication in inhalers used to treat asthma contains methyl compounds that may linger in the lungs and mouth. These methyl compounds might skew BAC results from a breath test upward. Various brands of inhalers may affect breath tests. If you have asthma and used your inhaler shortly before taking a breath test, this might explain why your BAC was over the legal limit.
Various over-the-counter medicines and hygiene products can also affect breathalyzers and skew the results of breath tests. For example, cod medicine most people have in their medicine cabinets can affect BAC results. Medicine like Vicks products, NyQuil, and cough syrups can lead to false BAC results. The same goes for generic versions of these medicines.
Even basic oral hygiene products that most people use daily can affect a breathalyzer. Many brands of mouthwash contain alcohol that may affect a breath test. If you rinse your mouth with mouthwash shortly before being stopped by the police, there might still be traces of alcohol from the mouthwash in your mouth when you take a breath test.
What to Do if Your Medication Affected Your Breathalyzer in New Jersey
After you are arrested for a DWI, you should first focus on hiring an attorney. You will likely be taken into custody by the police and made to submit to mandatory chemical testing. This is usually a breathalyzer that measures alcohol on the breath. The police might also try to ask you questions about the incident and whether you have had any alcohol. During custodial interrogations, you have the right to remain silent, and you should exercise this right immediately.
You also have the right to have a lawyer present, and you should demand to call your attorney. Once your attorney has met with you, you should discuss what happened during your stop. If you had nothing to drink or drank very little alcohol before being stopped, this should be a big red flag signaling something is wrong.
Next, discuss anything and everything you consumed on the day of your arrest. This includes medication and hygiene products. Our Egg Harbor Township DWI defense lawyers can help you identify possible medicines or products that might have tampered with your BAC results. Medicine taken very shortly before being stopped may be more likely to inflate your BAC. For example, if you rinsed with mouthwash right before driving to work in the morning, the mouthwash might affect a breathalyzer if the police stop you.
Proving Your Medication Affected Your Breathalyzer in New Jersey
You might be very confused about how you can be charged with a DWI when you do not believe your BAC was nearly high enough and that you were in complete control while driving. If you take any of the above medications or other products that contain some form of alcohol, that might be the explanation you are looking for. Our Gloucester County DWI attorneys can help you defend yourself against the charges by helping you prove that your medicine affected your breathalyzer results.
First, we need to consider what evidence we can collect to prove your claims that medication caused a false BAC result. If you were prescribed the medication that affected your breathalyzer, we need to see the prescription to present it in court. In addition, we need something to prove that you took the medicine that day. If you take your medicine according to a specific daily schedule, knowing that schedule can help us prove that you took the medicine shortly before being stopped by the police.
If the medicine or product you took was not from a prescription but rather an over-the-counter product, we need to find a receipt from when you purchased it, if possible. Perhaps you still have the remainder of the medicine still at home. Some common hygiene products, like mouthwash, are so ubiquitous that we do not need to bend over backward to prove your claims. Testifying that you recently rinsed your mouth with mouthwash may be enough to raise reasonable doubts. Even so, the more evidence we have, the better.
Contact Our New Jersey DWI Defense Attorneys for Help Now
Certain medications you take might explain the situation if you are charged with a DWI but do not believe your BAC results were correct. Our Hammonton, NJ DWI defense lawyers can help you prove your BAC results were incorrect. Call the Lombardo Law Group, LLC at (609) 418-4537 for a free case evaluation.
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