We’ve already discussed how diabetes and certain diets can result in a false positive on a breathalyzer test, but did you know that even fevers can affect breathalyzers enough to result in your being charged and convicted of drunk driving? It’s true, and that’s exactly why you should write down every detail of your DUI arrest as soon as your are released. A small detail like this can make all the difference when it comes to fight a drunk driving conviction with the help of your DUI lawyer.
How Fevers Can Affect Breathalyzers
So how big of a difference can a fever have on your breathalyzer results? Well, a number of studies on the subject have shown that fevers can affect breathalyzers can with even one degree centigrade change in body temperature (about a 1.8 degree change in Fahrenheit) changing a breathalyzer test result by anywhere from 6.5% to 9%. That can easily push what would normally be a BAC of 0.07% over the legal limit of 0.08%. If you had a mild fever when you received a breathalyzer test, this could be critical information to your DUI attorney.
Cold Medicines Often Contain Alcohol
This is particularly important when you consider that many cold remedies, like Dimetap and Nyquil, contain alcohol -some up to 25%. If you’re particularly small and took a cold medication to treat your fever, you could even be charged with drunk driving without ever having consumed an alcoholic drink.
Fevers Aren’t the Only Reason for Body Temperature Changes
Of course, while fevers are the most common reason a person’s body temperature has risen, if you were in a hot tub, exercised vigorously, or were in the hot sun before you were given a breathalyzer test, be sure to tell your DUI lawyer as it may affect your case.
If you have been charged with drunk driving, remember that every detail can be important. DUI lawyer Peter M. Liss will look at all potential defenses to your case to help you get the best possible outcome. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please call (760) 643-4050.
Creative Commons Image by Claus Rebler