Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Can having GERD help get you out of a DWI?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also referred to as acid reflux disease, occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly and stomach contents reflux back up into the esophagus.  GERD is intensified by stress.  Clearly being stopped by police and given a breathalyzer test is a stressful situation, making it more likely for mouth-alcohol contamination to occur.  The result can be a falsely inflated breathalyzer result.

Simply because you have a breathalyzer result that is higher than the legal limit does not mean you will be found guilty. The machine that took your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) may not be accurately reading your BAC. GERD can cause the breathalyzer test to show a highly elevated BAC. GERD causes alcoholic gases to flow from your stomach to your mouth. The breathalyzer test takes a sample of your breath to determine alcohol levels in your blood, so if you have GERD it will also read in the alcoholic gases from your stomach. The combination of what you actually consumed in alcohol and the alcoholic gases from your stomach may cause the machine to register a highly elevated BAC.

Many people do not realize they have GERD and often believe it just to be heartburn or another minor ailment. 

If you are charged with a DWI, contact us for a free consultation.

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