As previously discussed, Minnesota drivers who have been convicted of driving while impaired might, in some cases, be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles. Ignition interlock devices work by reading the blood alcohol level of the driver before the car can be started and reporting the results back to the organization responsible for the IID installation.
While IIDs usually work as they are supposed to, the reality is that all technology can have flaws. One such problem with the IIDs are that certain foods or products can actually lead to false positives, meaning the machine mistakenly believes the driver has been drinking despite the fact that no alcohol was consumed. Keep reading for a rundown of some of the most common causes of an inaccurate ignition interlock result.
One of the most common reports of false readings comes from those who regularly use mouthwash. The reason is that many types of mouthwash contain alcohol; some are made up of 30 percent alcohol by volume, more than many alcoholic drinks. Even though the driver has not ingested any of the alcohol in the mouthwash, it is possible that some residue will linger in the person’s mouth, meaning that an IID might mistake that residue for evidence of intoxication. In fact, some devices might read the mouthwash as equivalent to a BAC as high as 0.25 percent. Experts say that drivers who use mouthwash should rinse their mouths out with water and then wait between 10 and 15 minutes before getting behind the wheel to ensure that the test is accurate.
Another surprising source of false readings is spicy food. The reason is that spicy food does not react well with hydrochloric acid, a compound found in everyone’ stomach. When the enchilada (or any other spice meal) interacts with the acid it can create methane gas, which, at high levels, can lead to a false positive. The makers of one common IID system say that antacids and water will usually solve the problem and allow drivers to get back on the road without a false report.
In the same way that spicy food can lead to false positives, some diets might also lead to inaccurate results. Diabetics or those on certain kinds of high protein diets that raise their level of acetone can face a failed ignition interlock test. The IIDs occasionally misread the acetone as alcohol and incorrectly believe the driver has been drinking.
Perhaps the most bizarre source of false positives in an IID is cinnamon rolls. Yep, even a simple cinnamon roll can be enough to cause a driver to fail a breath test. The problem is that cinnamon rolls contain both yeast and sugar, two ingredients that can combine to create alcohol. Experts say that as with mouthwash, users should rinse their mouths out with water to avoid a potential false positive.
If subject to Minnesota Ignition Interlock, when to call a DUI Lawyer?
If you or someone you know is currently enrolled and reportedly in violation of Minnesota’s Ignition Interlock Program and believes this to be an error, contact our office for a review of the facts pertaining to your situation. Our DWI defense team has been successfully helping individuals throughout the great state of Minnesota for almost 20 years with regard to alcohol related driving violations.