With as much as police departments across the country, including those here in Ohio, use portable breath-testing machines in order to establish probable cause for an OVI arrest, you may think they provide accurate results. Unfortunately, you would be wrong.

In fact, these machines often result in false positives, and you could end up under arrest when your blood alcohol concentration isn’t even at 0.08 or higher. The reason for this is that so many factors can affect the outcome of these tests.

Factors that influence your BAC results

A portable breath test is about more than just measuring BAC. The following factors can result in your test results climbing higher than any alcohol in your system would allow:

  • You may not know that you have an intolerance to alcohol until you end up defending yourself against OVI charges. Some people simply cannot metabolize alcohol normally, which means that even one drink could keep your BAC higher than it would be if your body could tolerate alcohol.
  • The older you are, the more pronounced the effects of alcohol become.
  • If you have diabetes, it could affect the outcome of an alcohol breath test.
  • Alcohol tends to remain in a woman’s system longer than a man’s due to less water content in the body and a reduced amount of an enzyme that breaks down alcohol.
  • Carbonated drinks tend to keep alcohol in your system longer.
  • Whether you eat before and during your alcohol consumption makes a difference in test results as well.
  • Your metabolism affects how quickly your body gets rid of the alcohol you consume.
  • Stress can cause your body to hold onto alcohol until you calm down. Once you do, it releases into your bloodstream, which often causes a spike in BAC.
  • Your body type and the amount of fat versus muscle content you have also affect the rate at which your body metabolizes alcohol, which, in turn, effects BAC tests.

The above don’t even consider other factors that can skew the results of a roadside breath test. Any number of physical and environmental issues can do that as well. What you may want to remember is that the results of a roadside breath test are not always accurate. For this reason, you shouldn’t simply accept your guilt and consider entering a guilty plea.

Instead, it would probably be a better idea to fight for your rights and explore your legal options.