Los Angeles DUI “False Positives” – What You Can Do to Protect against Them

If you get arrested for driving under the influence in Southern California – whether you are a celebrity like Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton; or an “ordinary Joe” – you may find it difficult to get over the social stigma and get on with your life. Ideally, you want to avoid arrest and be a safe and conscientious citizen on Southland freeways and surface streets. Unfortunately, even people who do follow “best practices” for defensive driving — who stay away from things like speaking on their cell phones while on the road or driving under the influence — can get tagged for DUI in Long Beach (or elsewhere). DUI-breath-test.jpg

Here are potential triggers that can yield false positives for DUI:

1. Ketosis/ketoacidosis interfering with breathalyzer test results
If you are a diabetic who suffers from ketoacidosis (a consequence of hypoglycemia) or if you are on the induction phase of a low carbohydrate diet and your body is burning ketones (i.e. in a state of ketosis), you may have chemicals on your breath which can falsely elevate your BAC reading on a breathalyzer test. In other words, you may be legitimately under the legal limit but because of your diabetes or your diet, you can blow a BAC reading that looks positive for DUI in Los Angeles.

2. Smoking cigarettes or tobacco

When you smoke cigarettes or other tobacco products, you raise your level of acetaldehyde, another chemical that can falsely elevate your BAC readings and make it look like you are DUI in Pasadena (or wherever) when you are actually not.

3. Fatigue

When you are pulled over for under suspicion of driving under the influence in Southern California, and you are fatigued, you may present symptoms that look very similar to Los Angeles DUI symptoms. For instance, you may have bloodshot eyes, you may not be able to put together a coherent sentence, and you may slur your words. This obviously isn’t to say that you should drive while fatigued – you certainly shouldn’t, because that’s also very dangerous – but your extreme fatigue can certainly mimic DUI symptoms and lead to a “false positive.”

4. Personal “X” factors

Every person is different. Some people are naturally sweaty and ruddy, and they are not able to articulate themselves well. Other people just have bad coordination. So if you are someone who is uncoordinated, for instance, and you are asked to perform a field sobriety test, you might fail the FST simply because of your innate lack of coordination.

5. Nervousness and agitation because you are pulled over

If you’ve ever been pulled over, you probably felt agitated, anxious and maybe out of breath. We behave differently under extreme circumstances – and a suspect’s nervous behavior thus may look like DUI behavior, even if he or she is well below the legal limit.

So if you believe that your DUI was a “false positive” or if you are simply not sure how to proceed with your best defense, talk to an experienced attorney as quickly as you can.

Michael Kraut – a former city prosecutor of DUI crimes (and other crimes) – can provide a free consultation. Attorney Kraut is a Harvard Law School educated lawyer with a terrific record at jury trials and significant connections with local prosecutors and judges.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Long Beach or you are under investigation for driving under the influence in Southern California, please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.

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