Georgia DUI Acid RefluxBreathalyzer machines are designed to measure the deep air from your lungs in order to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). If your BAC is .08% or higher, you will be arrested and charged with a Georgia driving under the influence (DUI) offense. However, several medical conditions could cause you to test over the legal limit. Georgia DUI acid reflux is one of these conditions.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), is a condition that forces liquid up into the esophagus. Because acid reflux is often mistaken for indigestion or heartburn, many people are unaware that they have this condition. They may take over-the-counter medication to relieve the symptoms rather than see a doctor to get to the root of the problem.
So how does acid reflux affect the DUI breathalyzer test? As mentioned above, breathalyzers are supposed to measure air from your lungs; however, when you have this condition, alcohol gas is pushed up from the stomach and through your breath. If you had a beer or glass of wine, your BAC might be .03%. If you have this condition, your results may be elevated way over the legal limit.
Some breathalyzer machines come equipped with “slope detectors” that are supposed to determine if the air is coming from the lungs or another source (such as the mouth). If the air comes from the lungs, the breath alcohol should come at a steady rate. If the alcohol level increases suddenly, such as with a belch, the machine knows the air is not from the lungs. The problem with acid reflux is that the alcohol gases are constant, so the slope detector may not detect a problem.
If you recently failed a breathalyzer test and have a history of heartburn, you should contact a defense lawyer who specializes in DUI cases. He or she may go over your medical records or even consult with a medical expert to prove that the results of your breath test are due to your chronic medical condition.
To discuss your Georgia DUI acid reflux case and receive a free, no-obligation consultation, please complete our online form today.
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