May 16, 2008, Newsletter Issue #115: DUI Tests and Birth Control

Tip of the Week

Women and DUI breath tests are being called an unfair combination, according to some DUI lawyers. Some legal experts point to studies that indicate oral contraceptives can give false positives for .08 or higher blood alcohol content.

The reason? Oral contraception elevates the level of certain substances the breathalyzer detects, which can lead to the false reading.
These contraceptives can also be responsible for a faster "spike" in blood alcohol content, which the driver is unaware of, which will cause a "legitimate" higher reading. Either way, women get a raw deal when it comes to the breath test. Unfortunately, you may not be able to rely on this as a defense in court until legal precedents are established to provide guidance in this gray area.

Drunk driving laws currently make no distinction for men and women, nor do they provide separate tests based on gender. If you are unsure whether you should get behind the wheel in light of information such as this, it is best to call a taxi instead.

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