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Dr Basu
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Please help! Can being in ketosis cause a false positive breathalyzer

Customer Question

Please help! Can being in ketosis cause a false positive breathalyzer test for alcohol? My husband, 45, is on a ketogenic diet. (for TBI and weight loss) While driving through a military gate ID checkpoint one morning on his way to work, the military police thought they smelled alcohol on his breath. Of course he had not been drinking, and he submitted to a breathalyzer test, and was surprised to find the readings were 0.10 and 0.11! He was then thrown in jail and his command was called! He requested a blood test but they refused to bring him to the hospital for a blood test, saying the breathalizer did not make mistakes. He was not allowed to call me until the end of the day, and i had to pay $80 to get his car, which had been towed. I know for certain he was not drinking, not then nor the day before. He does not drink at all since his injury.
Can being in ketosis cause a false positve reading on these tests? Can anyone help me find anything in the literature that supports that? Also, the morning before he left for work he had washed the kitchen floors with pine sol - the kitchen smelled very strongly of it all day. He is on blood pressure medicine, (an ARB), thyroid replacement medicine, and vitamins. Please help!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Basu replied 2 years ago.

Mysticdoc :

The views expressed by me are for educational purposes only and do not establish a doctor patient relationship.

Mysticdoc :

Hello

Mysticdoc :

Thanks for your question.

Mysticdoc :

Ketogenic diet does give rise to the false positive alcohol breath test.

Mysticdoc :

This is due to the presence of acetone from ketogenic diet which is converted to isopropanol ( a type of alcohol) in the body, which results in positive alcohol test.

Mysticdoc :

This is an article confirming this theory.

Mysticdoc :

Best wishes,

Mysticdoc :

Please leave a POSITIVE FEEDBACK and click ACCEPT button, if you do not have any further question, so that I get rewarded for my time & effort. Thank you!

Customer: THank you! I read the report -in the case reported the person had a reading of 0.01 and 0.02; my husbands readings were 0.10 and 0.11 - do you think acetone can give that high a reading? I want to be able to convince a judge that my husband was not drinking- I know he was not...
Customer: Thank you!!
Mysticdoc :

yes it can and this will vary person to person.

Mysticdoc :

The fact that ketogenic diet can give rise to the false positive test with breath analyzer should be taken into account.

Mysticdoc :

Best wishes,

Dr Basu, Experienced Specialist
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 21538
Experience: MD
Dr Basu and 3 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so much! I was having a little trouble reading your answer earlier because I was not at home, was using my iPhone. I could not find where to leave positive feedback, but I will if I can now.
I have forwarded the article to his attorney. He is not certain this is enough to get him off, especially in dealing with the military. He could face a court martial if convicted. Do you know of any other evidence for this? I wish they had done blood testing. I know he was not drinking. I had seen him just 30 min before when he left for work that morning. But the MP's counter that with "He must have been drinking in the car on his way in." I know my husband - he would not do something like that!
The ketogenic diet , which is almost no carbs and for him includes coconut oil, fish oil and vitamin D3, has really helped him with his symptoms of PTSD and head injuries.
Expert:  Dr Basu replied 2 years ago.
That particular article has references mentioned at the end.
These references also should provide adequate support.
Best wishes,

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