Operating while impaired is a criminal charge no Wisconsin motorist wants to face. The penalties under conviction can be quite severe. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the topic of breath tests. Some people say a driver is wise to refuse to comply to a roadside test; others believe it is always best to submit upon request. What many people do not realize, however, is that numerous issues can prompt a false positive on a breath test, which can lead to an OWI arrest.
Breath test devices are not foolproof. In fact, results can be highly inaccurate. For instance, what a person had to eat in the hours leading up to the test can affect its results. Yeast is an ingredient in many breads and baked goods; when it reacts with other ingredients in a product, it can create trace amounts of alcohol that may trigger a breath test device into a positive result.
Health conditions such as diabetes or hypoglycemia can also prompt false positive results on a breath test. People who rinse their mouths with liquid breath fresheners before driving may increase their risk of facing an OWI arrest because alcohol is a main ingredient in most mouthwashes. Electrical interference from other nearby devices, such as cellphones or radar devices can also increase the likelihood of inaccuracy of a breath test device.
Especially if a person gets arrested for OWI and knows he or she has not consumed alcohol, it is always wise to request immediate legal representation. Then again, even if alcohol was consumed, it does not necessarily mean a driver was operating his or her vehicle illegally. An experienced criminal defense attorney is well-versed in Wisconsin laws and can determine a best course of action to protect a client’s rights and best interests in court.