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Common causes of a false positive in a DWI traffic stop

On Behalf of | Jan 24, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Getting stopped by the police on your way home may do more than startle you. At the end of the interaction, the officer may ask you to submit to testing to determine whether you are driving under the influence.

A DWI charge may bring with it some serious repercussions. If you do not believe the testing was accurate, you may prove correct. Several factors may cause you to appear under the influence, even if you are not. Learn about some of these situations so you can prepare yourself.


One of the most popular diets may cause a false positive on a breath test. The ketogenic diet has become a lifestyle for many. By depleting the carbohydrates in your body to almost none, the body will instead burn fat and enter ketosis. However, the chemical change you undergo for this to occur may cause your body to release acetone, or alcohol, through your breath.

Medical conditions

Some medical conditions may make it difficult to pass a roadside test. For instance, if you suffer from bouts of vertigo, you may fail a one-legged stand test or have difficulty walking the line. Even an infection you do not know of, such as one in the inner ear, may cause instability. Officers may take these missteps as evidence of your intoxication.

Over-the-counter items

When you feel under the weather, you may take something quick to help relieve symptoms. Some of these medications, especially liquids, may contain trace amounts of alcohol. Even if you do not feel like it impairs you, a breath test may show otherwise. Another culprit of a false positive is mouthwash, especially if you used it recently.

The testing used to charge you with DWI is not perfect, and you have a chance to clear your record.

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