With New Year’s Eve quickly approaching, you may be hard at work planning your night on the town. If you intend to celebrate with beer, a cocktail or champagne, though, you should arrange a ride home. After all, Michigan has some serious consequences for operating a vehicle while impaired.

In the Wolverine State, it is illegal to drive if your blood alcohol concentration is above 0.08%. To check your BAC, officers may use a breathalyzer test. You should realize, though, that these tests are not always reliable. In fact, perfectly legal behaviors may cause a false-positive reading.

Medical conditions 

Breathalyzer tests use a breath sample to gauge alcohol levels. Unfortunately, certain medical conditions can trick the test into believing you are drunk when you are actually sober. If you have acid reflux or a related condition, a breathalyzer test may issue incorrect results. Furthermore, certain medications may deceive the test, resulting in a false-positive report.

Foods 

Manufacturers of breathalyzer tests claim that food does not affect test results, but that may not be the case. Instead, eating certain types of nuts, such as pecans or macadamias, may skew the results of a breathalyzer test. The same is true for ripe fruits, some protein bars and certain types of bread.

Personal products 

If you see flashing lights in your rear-view mirror after a night on the town, you may be wearing perfume, makeup, hairspray or aftershave. While not common, the alcohol in these products can result in incorrect breathalyzer results. This is particularly true if you have freshened up in the few minutes before taking the test.

Without question, the consequences of an OWI in Michigan are potentially extreme. Therefore, you must do what you can to avoid an arrest or conviction. If prosecutors have charged you with violating the state’s prohibition on drunk driving, defending yourself aggressively is important. Calling the results of a breathalyzer test into question may be one way to do so.