False Positives on Your Drug Test: How it Can Affect Your Georgia DUI

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jul 06, 2018 | 0 Comments

If you were convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs in the State of Georgia, you may be subject to random drug and/or alcohol testing as a requirement of your probation. If you fail one of these tests at any point during your probation, you can be subject to further criminal sanctions.

A false positive can be caused by a variety of substances and can easily ruin your life. An investigation of the unique facts of your case by an experienced Georgia DUI attorney can help you defend your case so the truth comes out.

What is a False Positive?

A false positive occurs when a permissible substance in your blood causes the test to show a positive result for a banned substance. False positives can be created by a variety of common and legal substances. If a permissible substance causes you to fail a drug test by mistake, your probation could be revoked.

Depending on your circumstances you could face:

  • Revocation of your probation
  • Fines
  • Imposition of jail or prison time
  • Loss of your driver's license.

What Drugs Are Usually Tested?

Most drug tests are conducted with a urine sample, although they can also be performed using blood, hair, or saliva samples. Most tests screen for:

  • Cocaine,
  • Marijuana, Cannabinoids, THC (the ingredient in marijuana which gets you "high")
  • Methamphetamine/Amphetamines
  • Heroin, Fentanyl, or other Opiates
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Pain Medications (such as Vicodin or Oxycodone)
  • Barbituates

If any of these are found in your system, you are likely to fail your drug test.

What Can Cause a False Positive?


Certain medications can cause false positives:

  • Benadryl: This over-the-counter medication contains diphenhydramine, an antihistamine which also helps with sleep. You can test positive for PCP or methadone.
  • Robitussin or Delsym: Another over-the-counter medication to suppress a cough. You can test positive for opiates or PCP.
  • Sudafed: Meant for nasal and sinus congestion relief, it can cause you to test positive for methamphetamine.
  • Ritalin: The methylphenidate in Ritalin can cause you to test positive for amphetamines or methamphetamines.
  • Zoloft: This antidepressant contains sertraline. It may cause a false positive for LSD.
  • Tramadol: This is a prescription pain medication, which can cause a false positive for PCP.

Non-Medication False Positives

Other non-medication items that you consume may also create a false positive on your drug test, such as:

  • Poppy Seeds: The seeds can cause a false positive for opiates on a drug screen. You may test positive for morphine or codeine.
  • Hemp Oil: Often used as a supplement, if you use hemp oil you may test positive for marijuana use.
  • Second-hand Smoke: Not necessarily a "false" positive in this case, if you are around someone who has smoked a banned substance, your blood levels could be high enough to harm your criminal case.
  • Improper Testing Procedures: If the testing lab improperly conducts the tests, or the results are contaminated, your result may test positive when you have not violated the terms of your probation.

Consult Your DUI Attorney

If you have tested positive on a drug test but never consumed a banned substance, you can protect yourself from the loss of your rights. An experienced Georgia DUI attorney can defend you against the false results. Contact us today for a free consultation.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys

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