GERD and ASDs
With the snow melted and the days getting longer, it seems that the police are back out in full force patrolling for impaired drivers and issuing IRPs all over the city. However, you may be one of the few who blows a "fail" even though you've only had 1 or 2 beer and wondering "How could that possibly be?"
Mouth alcohol is known to affect readings on ASDs and the police are now trained to specifically wait 15 minutes if they suspect the driver has consumed alcohol within 15 minutes of having stopped them. In fact, if you've been stopped by an officer, you'll probably recall the officer asking you "when did you have your last drink?" - this is exactly why they ask that question.
However one thing the police are NOT trained to ask about is GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. The sad reality is that ASDs are designed to test a very small amount of alcohol in the alveoli deep in your lungs. These machines, therefore, can read falsely high readings if those samples are contaminated by alcohol laying in a person's stomach and producing gases. A person with GERD will regularly leak alcohol back up through their system into their stomach and as a result any breath test taken on an ASD can and often will produce a falsely high reading (often a "fail") even though the person's true blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is actually well under the legal limit. As such, if you've been victim to a "fail" even though you know in your heart you only had a couple of drinks and were trying to be responsible the you may want to immediately have yourself assessed for acid-reflux disease or GERD.
If it turns out that you do indeed suffer from GERD, then it may be that we can beat your prohibition despite the fact that the machines themselves are properly calibrated. This can be a tricky area, however, so it's wise if you call us for help.
Here is a video explaining the consequences of GERD in relation to a breath sample in some more detail: