If you eat a low carb, high protein diet, you could fail a DUI breath test even if you weren’t drunk.
Breath tests are often seen as the definitive answer in a DUI case. They appear scientific and they offer a clear cut answer on how drunk you were. Unfortunately, breath tests are notoriously unreliable, and in some cases they can send an innocent driver to jail. Many factors can throw off a breath test, but one of the most overlooked is your diet.
In most cases, what you eat will not affect your breath test results. The test actually samples air from deep in your lungs as you exhale, and the scene of any food in your mouth should not make a difference. But in some cases your diet can actually change the chemicals in your blood and, by extension, in your breath. This is where there’s a problem.
If your diet is low in carbs and high in protein, there is a chance it will throw off the breath test. Examples of this kind of diet include:
- The Atkins Diet
- Eating paleo
- Any ketogenic diet
Any low carb, high protein diet has the potential to put your body into ketosis. Ketosis simply means you are burning fat for energy instead of sugar (carbs). This is a healthy, safe state for most people, but it produces byproducts called ketones. Ketones in the blood stream will get into your breath, and to a breath test, they look similar to alcohol. The result can be getting a false positive even if you’re 100% sober.
If this happens to you, a lawyer can defend your case using a variation of the mouth alcohol defense.
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