While everyone has heard that they should never drink and drive, there are still many people who consume a small amount of alcohol before heading out on the road. These people may be surprised when they are pulled over and given a breathalyzer test that finds their breath alcohol concentration is over the legal limit, but scientists are finding that consuming drinks may not be the only thing that affects your BAC.
There are certain things you can do that will raise your BAC, according to AlcoholProblemsAndSolutions.org. Whether you are a painter by profession or just working on some side projects, one study found that a blood test can prove there is no alcohol in the body, but a 0.75 level can be reported by a breathalyzer after spending 20 minutes spray painting. Another study found a 0.12 alcohol breath concentration was reported 20 minutes after a subject spent one hour painting with oil-based paint and contact cement.
If a person is dieting or suffers from diabetes, his or her body is likely to produce higher acetone levels than a normal person. A breath analyzer is unable to differentiate between acetone and alcohol because both have similar molecular structures of the methyl group. This can lead to an extremely high BAC, even when no alcohol has been consumed.
Having a high temperature can also raise your levels. An 8 percent increase in the reported BAC is made for each degree that your body is above normal. Air temperatures can also affect the measurements if the police officer neglects to adjust the settings to compensate for the weather.
The things people put into their mouth can also have an effect on their BAC. Consuming bread products has been shown to increase the alcohol breath concentration to .05, and tobacco smoke can also create an increase. If you have vomited or had blood in your mouth, this is also likely to raise your BAC.
Everyone has a base level for the cell volume of their blood, or hematocrit. This number can vary from 37 to 52 percent depending on gender and genetics, but breathalyzers assume that each person meets a standard 47 percent. Variations in your hematocrit can also lead to variations in your BAC.
If you have been cited for a DUI and do not believe you were intoxicated, there could be several other factors that affected your BAC. Talk with a criminal defense lawyer about your options and the possibility of proving your innocence.