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What Foods Set Off a Breathalyzer?

what foods set off a breathalyzer

If you were pulled over and failed a breathalyzer test, you may be trying to process what happened – especially if you know you were sober. How can the test state that you had alcohol in your system when you didn’t drink any alcohol? The answer is that the breathalyzer can pick up traces of alcohol left from certain foods, drinks, and even medications in your system. This can cause a false positive. If you’re worried about the consequences of failing the test, hire a lawyer and then learn what foods and drinks may have led to a false test result. 

Which Foods Can Lead to a False Positive on the Test?

Certain foods can trick the breathalyzer test into assuming you’ve consumed alcohol before driving. One of the most common foods is fruit, which can ferment during digestion as sugar is turned into alcohol. Yeast works similarly, so if you just got done eating a pastry or piece of pizza, you could have alcohol on your breath. 

Additionally, spicy foods can set off a breathalyzer since methane gas is created once your body digests them. Some popular foods feature quite a bit of alcohol, but since most people only consume small amounts of these foods, they forget about it. For example, alcohol is one of the main ingredients of vanilla extract, so if you just finished a cookie before you were pulled over, there’s a chance the breathalyzer test will be positive. The same goes for vinegar-based salad dressings. 

What Drinks Can Give You a False Positive on a Breathalyzer?

You don’t have to drink alcohol to test positive for alcohol on your breath. You could have just finished a drink that’s known to be non-alcoholic and still set off a breathalyzer. For example, fruit juices of any variety could test positive for alcohol due to fermentation, much like fruits. 

Another beverage that could set off a breathalyzer is an energy drink, as wide varieties contain tiny amounts of ethanol. This shows up on a breathalyzer the same way beer or mixed drinks do, so it’s possible to be accused of drinking and driving. 

What Else Sets Off a Breathalyzer?

Even if you don’t eat or drink in your car, you could get a false reading on a breathalyzer while sober. If you used breath spray or mouthwash before getting pulled over, the test could pick up a small amount of alcohol. 

Certain vitamins and medicines can set off a breathalyzer, as well, including cough syrup, cough drops, and sleeping aids. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep using these products. Just be sure to rinse your mouth with water and wait a few minutes before you take a breathalyzer. 

If your breathalyzer result showed alcohol in your system, you need legal help today. Whether or not you were intoxicated while driving, you deserve legal advice for your case, so contact our Texas law office at (972) 573-4532 for help. 

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