California DUI attorneys have previously twitted how things other than alcohol cause false breath test machine readings.
Psychiatric patient claimed she had not been drinking but she failed a DUI / Drunk Driving breath test machine or breath estimator gadget.
Subsequent Verifying Tests showed that the 80 per cent proof fumes from the disinfectant rubs could yield false positive results.
The gels are used across the United Kingdom in most hospital wards and appear to be easily inhaled by patients. Many were used in offices and homes during the recent swine flu outbreak.
The Orchard Clinic in Edinburgh, which houses ‘mentally disordered’ criminals from across Scotland, has asked clinical staff to ‘delay’ the use of breathalyzers, or use soap and water, after the female patient complained when she failed a routine check.
Despite insisting she had not ‘touched a drop’, the unnamed patient tested positive for alcohol. Staff investigated her denial and asked a clinician to reproduce the test, by first disinfecting hands in the normal way before using the ‘alcometer’ device.
They were stunned when the result recorded was equivalent to drinking two units of alcohol – the same as an average strength pint of beer or a glass of wine.
They determined that alcohol used in the gels was lingering in the atmosphere in such quantities that traces could be inhaled during a breath test and massively skew the readings.
Staff at the unit highlighted the findings in a letter to the British Journal of Psychiatry.
The letter recommended that tests should only be carried out five minutes after the application of the hand gel, allowing enough time for the fumes to evaporate. Or, the letter said, soap and water could be used instead.