When you think about driving under the influence, thoughts typically turn to driving with alcohol or illegal drugs in his or her system. However, some regular even over-the-counter can often show on a breathalyzer test. This is typical for those substances that contain any form of alcohol. The following is some information on medications that can cause a false positive on a breathalyzer test:
Mouth Pain Medication
If you have a toothache or canker sore, you may choose to use some numbing medication. Oral analgesic gel can cause a false positive on a breathalyzer because of its ingredients. Some of the active ingredients include benzocaine, phenol, and alcohol. The high alcohol content will cause an increased reading on a breathalyzer.
Cold and Flu Medication
Another medication that can fail a breathalyzer test is cold and flu medication. Many cough syrups contain high amounts of alcohol. Nighttime formulas are particularly high in alcohol, as they are designed to help you sleep while you are sick. Taking a dose before driving can cause a failed breathalyzer test if you are pulled over.
If you can believe it, some cough drops contain enough alcohol to pique a breathalyzer. Some brands have more alcohol than others, so there is no way to know if you could possibly fail the test unless you carefully read the list of ingredients. You also have a higher chance of blowing positive if you have some of the cough drop left on your teeth after chewing it. If you plan to drive while using cough drops, it is best to keep a bottle of water on hand to keep the residue of the medicine off your teeth.
If you use an inhaler for asthma, there is a chance you can fail a breathalyzer while being pulled over. The medication used in inhalers contain methyl, which can be found in alcohol. Breathalyzers check for methyl, so if you recently used your inhaler, you can test positive for alcohol. Your reading may end up extremely high if you take a breathalyzer if you take the test shortly after using an inhaler.
These are just a few examples of medications that can cause a failed breathalyzer test. If you are pulled over for being suspected of driving under the influence, you may want to mention the use of some of these medications. It may or may not help your case, but it cannot hurt. If you need help dealing with a DUI after taking medication with a high alcohol content, be sure to speak with your attorney to see what steps are necessary.
Contact a law office like Boehmer Law for more information and assistance.