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What is GERD and how can it affect a DUI?

Many people in Arizona are familiar with stomach and indigestion problems. GERD, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or heartburn, affects millions of Americans. But a person may now know that it can also affect their DUI results.

What is GERD?

A person who suffers from GERD expels stomach vapor and gasses back up through their throat and out their mouth. It can happen when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus and irritates the esophagus. The effect of GERD often has a person taking heartburn medication such as antacids. But if a person is pulled over for a DUI, it can also affect a breathalyzer test.


When a GERD sufferer submits a breath sample for a DUI test, the breath may not just be from a person’s lungs. A person who has GERD may be unable to provide an uncontaminated sample of the deep lung air needed for the breathalyzer test. Instead the machine may actually be measuring the alcohol vapors or gases coming from their stomach in to their mouth. This can lead to inaccurate and falsely high BAC readings and a DUI conviction.

DUI attorney

An attorney who specializes in DUI defense can help their client understand their options when it comes to their DUI defense. An attorney understands their client can feel stressed and scared about their arrest and what the future may hold. An attorney can examine every possible defense their client may have and help their client obtain a favorable outcome. In some situations, a GERD defense may be an option and could have affected a person’s breath results.