False Positive Readings for Breathalyzer Tests

Like all electronic devices, breathalyzers are not perfect. Some people may argue for false positive reading without consuming any alcoholic stuff. Here are four reasons breathalyzers tests may issue a false positive.

1.Immediate test after drinking

It’s pretty popular that people would try to measure their blood alcohol content immediately after drinking. The test will probably indicate inaccurate measurement, due to improper samples collected from residual alcohol substances adhered to mouth cavity. The breathalyzer is working to collect alveolar air contained in the pulmonary alveoli where the gaseous exchange takes place between the blood and the gas contained within the alveoli. Therefore, to avoid an error, it’s highly recommended to wait at least 15 minutes before conducting the test.

2.Devices not re-calibrated

Breathalyzers adopted by fuel cell or semiconductor sensing technology are recommended to re-calibrate in each 6 or 12 months. If the devices are not calibrated regularly, you could receive a false positive reading.

3.Certain food are eaten

Some food may trigger false reading for breathalyzer test, e.g. Litchi, Egg Pie, Ageratum-liquid, Pecans, Energy Drinks, Protein Bars, etc.


Gastrointestinal medical conditions may also result in false-positive readings. If you have acid reflux, GERD, heartburn, diabetes, or other medical conditions. For example, the acetone from diabetics may have response to sensor in the breathalyzer.


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