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What causes false breath analysis test results?

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2021 | DUI/DWI

A few nights ago, New York police pulled you over for suspicion of drunk driving. The breath test results came back positive, but were they accurate?

Alcohol Problems and Solutions explores what triggers false breath analysis test results. Determine the validity of your drunk driving charge.

Hypoglycemia and acetone

Depending on your medical condition, you may experience hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia contributes to acetone on a person’s breath, which may trigger false blood alcohol concentration results. With a high enough acetone amount on a person’s breath, law enforcement may accuse the person of driving drunk.


Symptoms of low blood sugar mirror signs of intoxication. That is, hypoglycemia can trigger disorientation, jerking, trouble focusing, trembling and clumsiness. More than diabetes causes low blood sugar. Other causes include diet soda, large doses of aspirin, anxiety, overexertion, pseudoephedrine and fright. Medical conditions that contribute to hypoglycemia include liver, kidney and cardiac diseases.


Depending on your diet, you could boost your acetone levels inadvertently. Low-carb diets make the body create more acetone to make up for losing glucose.

One common goal with low-carb diets is to reach low-carb ketosis to burn fat. Ketones trigger the production of isopropyl alcohol, which becomes acetone. A person who does not drink could blow a positive on a breath analysis test.

You cannot afford to remain in the dark with your driving privileges, job options, housing and financial health on the line. If your medical condition or diet contributed to unreliable breath analysis test results, you may have a legal case to explore.