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What non-alcoholic substances affect BAC tests?

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2020 | Firm News |

Washington law enforcement uses blood alcohol content (BAC) tests on drivers suspected of DUI. These tests do have their uses and have high levels of accuracy. Still, they are not infallible. Today we will look at one of their weaknesses: sensitivity to non-alcoholic substances. 

It is somewhat common knowledge that blood alcohol tests can pick up on non-alcoholic substances. This can be problematic if your results show you are over the legal limit, but you have not had anything to drink. Foods, drinks and even non-consumable items can trigger a high BAC level. 

For non-consumable items, this typically includes products that may contain alcohol. Cough syrups and drops often result in high BAC levels, along with cold medication. Mouthwash, breath mints and certain types of sugarless gum can, too. Even products worn around or on the mouth can impact breath tests. This includes aftershave, cosmetics and lip creams. 

Fermented drinks such as kombucha often trigger false test results. So can “non-alcoholic” wines and beers, which do still contain traces of alcohol even if it is miniscule. Particularly sensitive devices often pick up on even tiny amounts. As for food, there are some surprising items on the list. Honey buns and ripe fruit are both known triggers of false results, along with other types of bread. 

If you or a loved one are facing DUI-related charges, it can feel like an uphill battle. However, it is important to keep in mind that evidence is not always foolproof or even dependable. Follow the link to our web page on DUI if you would like to continue reading.