Acid Reflux & Breathalyzer Tests

Strategic Defense from Our Bakersfield DUI Attorneys

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in California, the arresting officer likely had you perform a series of tests to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. Most notably, they may have made you blow into a small device, known as a breathalyzer, which brings up a number that is supposedly representative of just how much alcohol was in your blood. The problem with breathalyzer devices is that they are incredibly sensitive, don't reliably test only the alcohol content of your blood like they are supposed to, and can be thrown off by the slightest issues, including acid reflux.

The results of the breathalyzer may have been heavily skewed by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). A breathalyzer works by pulling its results from a millionth of an ounce of actual alcohol, and it assumes that it is getting it from microscopic specks of your blood. When someone suffering from acid reflux breathes into the device, their stomach’s sphincter is not closed entirely and allows fumes of alcohol to enter their esophagus. This causes the breathalyzer to read a result from the fumes instead of your blood, resulting in a dramatically high and misrepresentative BAC level readout.

Do you think acid reflux may have spiked your reported BAC level when you were arrested? You need to call Campbell Whitten at 661.735.1038 right away!

How Acid Reflux Can Impact Your Case

When the prosecution uses a breathalyzer’s BAC reading against you, they might try to present it as irrefutable proof, solely due to the fact that an impartial machine generated the reading. What they may not address is that GERD could have likely caused a higher reading than normal. That is where our Bakersfield DUI attorneys come in – fighting for your rights and presenting hard facts and real evidence on your behalf. The truth is that many people do not know that they are suffering from acid reflux, or have a case that is not severe enough to cause irritation, but can still be affected by the physical disorders it causes to their stomachs. But whether they are conscious of the symptoms or not, the existence of such medical conditions can still drastically impact breathalyzer results.

If you were experiencing any of the following symptoms at the time of your arrest, you may have actually had acid reflux, which skewed your breathalyzer results:

  • Heartburn
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Stomach irritability
  • Nausea
  • Persistent cough
  • Bad taste in your mouth

It is important to reiterate that you do not need to be diagnosed with GERD to suffer its symptoms, and that even mild irritation can easily push alcohol fumes from your stomach and up into your esophagus. Furthermore, pure alcohol does not have a recognizable scent; this means that the fumes, not your BAC, could be the source of the breathalyzers results, even if there was no “smell of alcohol” on your breath.

We Stand Apart Due to Our Innovation and Dedication

When you retain the services of our Bakersfield DUI lawyers, you will be backing up your case with an entire team, not just one attorney. By working together, thinking well-outside the box, and taking the extra time to get to know our clients and understand their claims, we have been able to successfully handle thousands of cases. We really are here to enter the ring on behalf of our clients, and we would love to be able to prove that to you.

Don’t let your upset stomach lead to a DUI conviction! Request your free case evaluation with us today!