Why Might a DUI Breath Test Be Wrong in New Jersey?

breath test wrong new jersey

Throughout the year and especially during the holidays, law enforcement officers in the State of New Jersey make concerted efforts to catch suspected drunk drivers. Unbeknownst to many people, including New Jersey law enforcement, is that many DUI arrests are invalid because they relied on faulty breathalyzer tests that produced inaccurate results. In fact, some drivers charged with DUI may not have had an illegal amount of alcohol in their blood. For more information on why a DUI breath test may be wrong in New Jersey, please keep reading, then contact an experienced Camden County DUI attorney. Some reasons why a DUI breath test may be wrong include:

Health factors

Many people suffer from acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The vapors and gases accompanying such conditions can lead to major inaccuracies in a breath test, such as falsely suggesting that the person is drunk. Additionally, the following conditions may lead to a false positive on a breath test:

  • Diabetes: Breath tests can’t distinguish between acetone and ethyl alcohol.
  • Dentures: Alcohol trapped by dentures can skew test results.
  • Periodontal disease: Pockets in the gum, which can hold alcohol for a longer amount of time, may falsely indicate more alcohol than is actually in the person’s bloodstream.
  • Hiccuping and belching: A hiccup or belch can bring stomach gas – including traces of alcohol – into your mouth, showing heightened levels of alcohol.


Many mouthwashes contain ethanol, which is the same type of alcohol that comprises part of alcoholic beverages. Other health products containing traces of alcohol can also lead to false positives.

Low-carb diets

A significantly low intake of carbohydrates can cause your body to go into a state of ketosis, in which it relies on fat for energy rather than sugars. Ketones produced in this process can also create an incorrect breath test reading.

Warm breath from an aerobic exercise

Additionally, breathalyzer misreadings can occur when your breath is particularly warm, such as after exercising. Warmer breath may indicate a higher than actual blood alcohol content.

Defective equipment

Often, New Jersey law enforcement does not properly calibrate the breathalyzer devices they use in roadside sobriety tests. Law enforcement must recalibrate these devices frequently to ensure they can detect an accurate reading. Otherwise, they will lose accuracy over time and degrade.

Untrained officers

Not all law enforcement receives the proper training to administer the kind of handheld roadside breath tests given to suspected drunk drivers. When officers lack sufficient experience or training, operational errors may negate the accuracy of such tests.

Many other things may contribute to an incorrect breath test, so speak with a skilled Camden County criminal defense attorney to learn more and plan your defense.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

Thomas DeMarco & Associates, LLC handles all criminal matters and is ready to provide you with our knowledgeable legal counsel. Contact our firm to discuss your legal situation.

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