When is a 0.08, not a 0.08?

Posted On May 08, 2023 Charles Ramsay


A former State breath lab employee, Aaron Olson, has analyzed thousands of breath samples from the State’s breath alcohol lab. By looking at detailed data from the DMT breath machine, he’s found that a significant portion (about 16%) of breath samples that ended in a 0.08, aren’t actually an 0.08! 

Mr. Olson analyzed the data for interfering substances such as acetone and other compounds recorded by the DMT. He found that normal compounds found in human breath pushed many breath samples over the legal limit

This may sound surprising, but even the creator of the DMT, John Fusco, admits that normal compounds found in breath such as acetone and isopropanol can add to a breath test, pushing subject samples over the legal limit.


The creator of the DMT, John Fusco, teaches about interfering substances on YouTube.

What does this mean for you?

This means that you could have a breath alcohol of 0.075, but due to having gone on a ketogenic diet, you might get a 0.080 -- which puts you over the legal limit, makes you a criminal, and causes you to lose your license.

Even the State’s own DMT breath alcohol training manual admits that there are such substances on a person’s breath. On page 9 of the DMT Operator manual, it states:

“While acetone is not an alcohol, acetone vapors may be present in the breath of diabetics, dieters or highly exercised individuals.”

But it’s not just the State who says this; scientific studies show that compounds like acetone and isopropanol are elevated after eating a ketogenic meal.

In fact, human breath contains hundreds of compounds known as VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that can affect a breath test. Many of these substances are difficult for the DMT to detect because they are similar in chemical structure to ethyl alcohol -- the alcohol found in beer, wine, and liquor. 

What is to be done?

If the State hadn’t disabled the fuel cell on the DMT breath machine, VOCs wouldn’t be as much of an issue. Compounds like acetone don’t intact with fuel cells, and, therefore wouldn’t be measured by the DMT. But the State decided to disable the fuel cell in 2012. When they did this, they gave up 3 of the 4 ways of detecting interfering substances.

Now, the State must deal with the fact that the DMT is convicting innocent citizens due to being on a ketogenic diet (low-carb), exercising, or fasting. 

The State is required to provide any and all exculpatory evidence to the defense and prosecution. We hope that moving forward; the State will stop playing games with peoples’ livelihoods and be upfront in providing this exculpatory evidence.

A DWI can affect a person’s ability to earn a living, travel to other countries, and obtain life insurance. Moreover, a person who gets a DWI will have the permanent humiliating label of “criminal” stamped on their record. 

Call Ramsay Law

Don’t let the State label you a criminal merely because you tried a ketogenic diet or are a diabetic. If you’ve been a victim of the State’s faulty breath alcohol machine, call us at Ramsay Law. We know the science and the law.


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