Can Herbal Supplements Affect DUI Blood Test Results?

Aug 1, 2017 — by James E. Novak Attorney PLLC
Tags: Dui Criminal Law

Herbal supplementsPolice officers are responsible for stopping drunk drivers. One way police officers determine if someone is driving under the influence is through the use of a DUI breath test. Many people do not realize that they can decline to take a DUI breath test in favor of the more accurate blood test.

However, even DUI blood tests can be inaccurate. In fact, certain herbal supplements can affect the results of these tests. Find out more as we take a closer look at herbal supplements and DUI blood tests. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact our Phoenix, AZ office to learn more about your legal rights.

DUI Breath Test vs. DUI Blood Test

Police officers have breath-testing equipment in their vehicles to test the intoxication levels of people they suspect to be under the influence of alcohol. Breath testing devices, also known as Breathalyzers, are used to estimate blood alcohol levels by measuring ethanol in the breath.

Because breath-testing equipment is only an estimate of blood alcohol levels, it is possible for these readings to be inaccurate. When the results of a DUI breath test seem to be inaccurate, a blood test may be requested.

Blood alcohol tests measure the amount of alcohol in the blood and can measure a trace amount of alcohol within minutes of consuming an alcoholic drink. Blood alcohol levels are typically highest about an hour after drinking, but the amount of food in the stomach can increase this length of time.

Can Herbal Supplements Affect Blood Alcohol Levels?

Yes. Certain herbal supplements can affect the results of a DUI blood test. Any herbal supplement that contains alcohol may affect the results of your DUI blood test, causing blood alcohol levels to be inaccurate and not a true reflection of intoxication levels.

Alcohol is used as a preservative in many herbal supplements, which should be listed as either alcohol or ethanol in the list of ingredients. Herbal supplements most likely to contain alcohol are those taken in tincture form. Tinctures are made by dissolving or soaking an herbal supplement in alcohol to extract the beneficial properties from herbs. Two of the most common herbal supplements generally taken in tincture form are kava and ginseng.

Although tinctures and other herbal supplements containing alcohol only have a small amount, it may be enough to interfere with blood alcohol level results. Other factors that can affect DUI blood test results include taking cough syrup, using rubbing alcohol to clean the skin before inserting the needle to draw blood, or high levels of ketones in the blood associated with diabetic ketoacidosis.

Learn More about Your Legal Options

If you have been charged with drunk driving and believe the results of your DUI tests are inaccurate, it is important to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney. Our legal team will work on your behalf to ensure your rights are respected and you receive a fair trial.

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