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Question: Does Almost Throwing Up Before a Breathalyzer Affect the Reading?

By Kenneth S. Feraru, Esq.


After being pulled over for suspicion of driving while under the influence the officer’s observed me for a brief period of time.  I was given a bottle of water and thereafter almost threw up.  Actually, I threw up a little. 

The officer insisted I blow into the breathalyzer, and after allowing it to proceed the reading came up to .18.  I have been suffering from GERD and heartburn my whole life. I understand that the prosecutor can use the slope to dismiss my defense. Do I have a chance?


Yes, vomiting, GERD and other occurrences will affect the breath test reading. It is correct that slope detector software is supposed to account for that, but it doesn’t always work as intended. Therefore, you may have a defense for at least arguing a lesser reading. A reading of .18 and above is aggravated DWI, which carries higher fines and longer suspension periods than regular DWI. The circumstances may make a difference in your sentence and may create a valid argument that your charge should not be aggravated DWI.

In situations such as this you definitely need to hire a criminal defense attorney.  I have been handling cases like this for many years. 

If you need assistance with any legal problem, you need a Long Island criminal defense attorney who will learn the facts, develop a strong case, and fight for your rights. We have been helping Nassau County residents since 1995. Let us use our experience to help you. Contact us at the law office of Kenneth S. Feraru, P.C.

Attorney Kenneth S. Feraru covers all the Nassau County areas such as: Great Neck, Manhasset, Mineola, Valley Stream, Malverne, New Hyde Park, Garden City, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Elmont, Uniondale, Rockville Centre, Westbury, Roslyn, Freeport, Merrick, Beth Page, Port Washington, Lake Success, Locust Valley, Brookville, Centerville, Oyster Bay, Bayville, Kings Point, Baxter Estates, Munsey Park, Kensington, Sands Point, Franklin Square, Williston park, Carle Place, Sea Cliff, Manorhaven, Jericho, Plainview, Mill Neck, Lattington, Hicksville, Farmingdale, East Meadow, Lynbrook and Floral Park.

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