When you are arrested for a DUI, California’s “Implied Consent” law applies. Vehicle Code section 23612 says if you are lawfully arrested, you may be subject to either a blood test or a breath test for the officer to determine your blood alcohol content (“BAC”) level. The officer(s) will administer a breath test using a device called an “intoxilizer.”

Breath tests are based on a presumed blood/breath ratio, which could be affected by outside factors. For example, some people suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), a form of chronic heartburn. People with GERD cannot properly digest food, and often a lot of burping/belching occurs. This may cause a higher BAC result on the intoxylizer, because the machine can register gases coming up from the stomach in addition to the lung air it is designed to measure.

If you have chronic heartburn, and an officer suspects you are driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, your true BAC level may be less than what the intoxylizer registers. A lawyer that prepares a GERD DUI defense may involve both your doctor and an expert witness to explain your condition and its effects on your blood alcohol content to the jury.

If you or someone you know is accused of a crime, arrested, or contacted by police, contact San Jose criminal defense attorney Maureen Baldwin at (408) 279-4450 to learn your options today!