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How drinking diet soda can mess up a Breathalyzer test

Summer in Wisconsin is in full swing, and if you're one of many college students home for the holiday break, you're likely enjoying some down time with friends and family. You may participate in the multitude of fun things to do throughout the state during summer months, including live music concerts, picnics, trips to the beach and more. Sometimes, however, something unexpected occurs that can ruin your summer plans, such as a police officer pulling you over on your way home from a night on the town.

You may have heard horror stories about people getting convicted on drunk driving charges who swear they never touched a drop of alcohol before getting behind the wheel. There have indeed been past situations where faulty breath tests led to convictions in court. For this reason, you'll want to be aware of several things that can cause false positives to register on breath testing devices

Are you familiar with acetone?

When you see that word, one of the first things that comes to your mind might be nail polish remover. That's because acetone is a common ingredient in such products. However, do you know most people have a certain amount of acetone on their breath? The problem as it relates to possible drunk driving charges is that high levels of acetone can cause breath testing devices to register false positives. The following list includes common causes of raised acetone levels on human breath:

  • Hypoglycemia: This condition is often present in people who suffer from diabetes. Symptoms include shakiness, dizziness, confusion and problems paying attention. It also often causes raised levels of acetone on your breath that can trick a breath test device into registering as alcohol.
  • Soda: In particular, if you drink diet soda, your breath may contain high levels of acetone.
  • Fear, stress and exertion: If you were on the way home after a fab workout at the gym when you got pulled over, or if you're nervous or afraid because a police officer stopped you, your nervousness may cause the acetone levels on your breath to rise.
  • Low-carb diets: If you're one of many Wisconsin residents currently trying out low-carb diets, it might interfere with a chemical breath test in a way that places your freedom at risk. This is because low-carb diets can produce ketones in your body, which creates isopropyl alcohol, which can turn into acetone on your breath, which can register as alcohol on a breath test.

You're already undoubtedly aware that it's a serious matter to face charges of drunk driving in Wisconsin. While it would be nice if you could simply tell the court you believe chemical test results were faulty and the whole situation would go away, it doesn't usually work that way. It is possible, however, to challenge chemical test results if you believe something skewed the testing process or positive results are false. Most people planning to issue such challenges in court retain assistance from experienced defense advocates before taking action.

There's no reason drunk driving charges have to ruin your entire summer break, especially if you know you have not committed a crime. Knowing where to turn for support in such situations is often half the battle.

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