The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Dieters could fail breath test  (Read 4020 times)

paul.fr

  • Guest
Dieters could fail breath test
« on: 07/04/2007 19:56:38 »
An airline pilot who was reported because alcohol could be smelt on his breath has been cleared because he was on a diet. How can dieting give you alcohol breath and even cause you to fail a breatheliser?


 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Dieters could fail breath test
« Reply #1 on: 07/04/2007 20:39:47 »
Somewhere I heard about that, but don't remember the details. does it have to do with ketosis am I saying that right?
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Dieters could fail breath test
« Reply #2 on: 07/04/2007 20:48:21 »
Here Check this out! From the web.. I thought that was correct!

MadSci Network: Chemistry   Query:               


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Re: Is there any way to fake a breathalyzer test?
Date: Mon May 10 15:30:21 1999
Posted By: Dave Koppenhaver, Staff, Forensic Chemist, Indiana State Police Laboratory
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 925937639.Ch
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Message:


Joe,

First look at two other similar questions posted on MadSci.  They are
under Chemistry, “How do breath alcohol analyzers work?” and “Could you
give me some information on how to make a breathalyzer.”

The portable breath testers, and the more sophisticated instruments like
the Intoxilizer 5000, and Datamaster, use deep lung air.  You want to know
if there is a chemical that can change the ethanol (alcohol) from deep
lung air into just regular air.  I am not aware of any chemical that can
do what you are asking, is there a possibility there is a chemical out
there, I don’t know.  For some of the testing procedures a suspect is not
to have smoke cigarettes for 20 minutes prior to the test, apparently the
smoke can cause an incorrect reading, is it incorrect higher or lower? 
Furthermore, the instruments are made in such a way that they can
differentiate between alcohol and acetone, which might be present in the
breath of fasting dieters or diabetics who are in a state of ketosis.
 
Definitely don’t consume acetone, it will kill you!!

One thing to keep in mind, the law does not want to throw someone in jail
who is innocent therefore, the scientific tests that we do in a crime
laboratory must have a sound and proven scientific basic and have been
proven accurate.  Based on that statement, breath testing for alcohol has
been accepted since the 1950’s, and is accepted in the courts as reliable.

I have also heard of people putting a penny or breath mint in their mouth,
when stopped for driving under the influence.  These two things don’t work
to foil a portable breath test either.

Be safe!

 

another_someone

  • Guest
Dieters could fail breath test
« Reply #3 on: 07/04/2007 23:12:43 »
Here Check this out! From the web.. I thought that was correct!

MadSci Network: Chemistry   Query:               


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Re: Is there any way to fake a breathalyzer test?
Date: Mon May 10 15:30:21 1999
Posted By: Dave Koppenhaver, Staff, Forensic Chemist, Indiana State Police Laboratory
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 925937639.Ch
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Furthermore, the instruments are made in such a way that they can
differentiate between alcohol and acetone, which might be present in the
breath of fasting dieters or diabetics who are in a state of ketosis.
 

What I heard on the news was speculating exactly that it was acetone that was causing the false positive (but it was speculation - I am not aware that anyone knows exactly what the cause of the false positive was - except that the blood tests gave a negative result, while the breathalyser gave a positive).
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Dieters could fail breath test
« Reply #4 on: 08/04/2007 05:06:10 »
That is interesting. I have heard that for years . When I was younger the doctor who had me try the Atkins diet talked to me about ketosis, but I couldn't remember how they were related but know that was mentioned as you stated also.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Dieters could fail breath test
« Reply #4 on: 08/04/2007 05:06:10 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums