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How prescription medications can make you fail a breath test

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | DUI |

In Georgia, many drivers are unaware that certain prescription medications can affect breath test results. Understanding these interactions is crucial to avoid unexpected legal issues.

Alcohol content in medications

Some prescription medications contain alcohol, which can influence breath test readings. Many have high alcohol levels, potentially leading to a false positive. Medicated mouthwashes often contain alcohol, which can linger in the mouth and be detected by a breath test.

Medication effects

Certain medications can alter how your body metabolizes alcohol. Drugs like benzodiazepines can slow down your metabolism, causing alcohol to stay in your system longer. Some antidepressants can enhance the effects of alcohol, leading to higher breath test readings.

Additionally, some medications can cause chemical reactions that interfere with breath test accuracy. The propellants in inhalers can contain alcohol, which may result in a false positive. Some drugs can create acetone, a compound that breath tests may mistakenly identify as alcohol.

Steps to avoid issues

To avoid false breath test readings due to prescription medications:

  • Inform officers: If stopped, inform the officer about any medications you are taking that could affect the test.
  • Carry documentation: Keep a list of your prescriptions and their possible effects on breath test results.
  • Request alternative tests: If you believe your medication has affected the breath test result, ask for a blood or urine test.

Being proactive

Prescription medications can significantly impact breath test results, leading to potential legal issues. By understanding these interactions and taking proactive steps, you can protect yourself from unintended consequences and ensure fair treatment during DUI stops.