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Can the Popular “Keto Diet” Lead to a False Positive on an Alcohol Breath Test?

Posted on in DUI

Richmond Counties Drunk Driving Defense LawyerAlcohol breath tests or “breathalyzers” as they are often called, test the amount of alcohol on a person’s breath. This information can be used to determine the test taker’s blood alcohol content (BAC). The results of breathalyzer tests are frequently used to prosecute drivers for driving under the influence (DUI). However, these tests are not infallible.

Testing devices that are not properly cleaned, regularly maintained, and administered correctly can yield inaccurate results. Even something as innocuous as a person’s diet may lead to inaccurate breathalyzer results. Recently, many people have questioned whether the increasingly popular keto diet could lead to false-positive breath test results and, consequently, charges for drunk driving.

Can Being Keto Really Affect Breathalyzer Tests?

The keto diet requires dieters to abstain from foods containing significant amounts of sugar or carbohydrates. This forces the body to use fat as an energy source. When fat is metabolized by the body, chemicals called ketones are produced. Ketones are chemically similar to isopropyl alcohol. If a breathalyzer test is not sophisticated enough to distinguish between isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol, the alcohol found in alcoholic beverages like wine and beer, it is possible that ketones in the breath will cause the breath test to yield an artificially inflated BAC. However, advanced testing devices are able to differentiate between ketones and the ethyl alcohol found in alcoholic drinks.

Defending Against DUI Charges By Questioning the Validity of Breath Test Results

Most drunk driving convictions are founded upon the results of chemical BAC tests including breath, blood, and urine tests. However, in some cases, it is possible to avoid conviction for DUI even if test results show a BAC above 0.08 percent. Dietary restrictions, medical problems, defective testing equipment, improper testing administration, improper blood sample storage, and a host of other issues can make BAC tests unreliable. If you or a loved one were recently charged with drunk driving, contact a lawyer with ample experience defending against drunk driving charges for help.

Contact a Napa DUI Defense Attorney

A conviction for driving under the influence can lead to license suspension, steep fines, and even jail time. If you are facing DUI charges, contact skilled San Francisco criminal defense lawyer Paul Burglin for help. Mr. Burglin offers sound legal advice and aggressive representation to criminal defendants accused of driving under the influence, CDL violations, and more.

Call the Burglin Law Offices, P.C. today at 415-729-7300 for a free, confidential case assessment.

 

Sources:

https://www.nature.com/articles/0803444

https://www.insider.com/keto-diet-false-positive-alcohol-breathalyzer-test-2020-2

https://www.menshealth.com/health/a26063314/ketosis-breathalyzer-alcohol-false-positive-low-carb/

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