When you have been charged with a DUI or DWI in Texas, it is important to consider the numerous defenses that may be available to you, and your medical history may be able to help. There are certain medical conditions that can lead to a false BAC reading on a breath test or in a blood test. If you suffer from one of these conditions and are facing DUI/DWI charges, you should speak with a DWI defense attorney in Austin who can say more about how your medical diagnosis may be a defense to your charge of driving while intoxicated.
Medical Conditions Giving a False BAC Reading
What medical conditions are known to result in false BAC readings? According to an article in the Journal of Forensic Science, breath-alcohol concentration and blood-alcohol concentration can be affected by the following medical issues, sometimes resulting in false or faulty breath test readings:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): this is a chronic digestive disease that, according to the Mayo Clinic, “occurs when stomach acid or, occasionally, stomach content, flows back into your food pipe (esophagus). The reflux causes irritation to the esophagus, and that is what produces GERD. In general, it results from frequent acid reflux, which is also often characterized by frequent heartburn. If you suspect you may have GERD, you should seek an opinion from a healthcare provider, and if you have already been diagnosed, it is important to let a DWI defense lawyer in Texas know about your condition so that you can present it as a defense to your DUI/DWI charge.
- Acid reflux disease: acid reflux disease, according to WebMD, is characterized by acid that your stomach produces moving up into the esophagus. When a person experiences acid reflux disease, she can experience pain in her chest, as well as heartburn. Sometimes acid reflux can happen without a diagnosis of acid reflux disease. If you experience acid reflux two times or more per week, however, then you should speak with a healthcare provider about whether you may have acid reflux or GERD. Risk factors for acid reflux include eating large meals, lying down immediately after eating or close to your bedtime, being overweight, smoking, being pregnant, and eating or drinking certain types of food.
- Heartburn: in many cases, according to the Mayo Clinic, heartburn is an occasional discomfort that is not linked to an underlying disease. However, when heartburn happens to your frequently, you should discuss your symptoms with a healthcare provider to determine whether they may be a sign of GERD or acid reflux disease.
DWI Attorney in Austin
Why can these conditions result in a false positive on a BAC test? In short, you may have alcohol in your stomach that is not actually in your blood, but when the acid from your stomach travels up into your esophagus and mouth, it can result in a breath test that suggests your BAC is much higher than it is in fact. Whether you have been diagnosed with a long-term condition that could cause a false BAC reading or experience occasional bouts of acid reflux, an Austin DUI defense lawyer can help you to present this evidence as a defense in your case