Energy Drinks And False Positive Drug Tests - The Patterson Law Firm

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Energy Drinks And False Positive Drug Tests - The Patterson Law Firm

  • March 25, 2014
  • Anthony Ragland
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Following on the heels of reports about the dangers of certain energy drinks and links to caffeine intoxication and deaths, come new reports of energy drinks causing false positive drug test results. Recently, while in court on a drug test compliance calendar, my client tested positive for the presence of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Based on these results, he was facing numerous adverse consequences, including, revocation of his probation, loss of first offender sentencing and jail time. My client swore that he had not consumed marijuana nor been around anyone that had. After much deliberation, we were able to get the court to agree to allow him to take a second test.

I took my client to the side and quizzed him about the positive test result and how it could have occurred. My client reiterated that the only thing he had consumed that day was a Monster brand energy drink a half an hour or so before his drug test. After some quick research, it turns out that Riboflavin (a B vitamin and an ingredient in Monster) and ibuprofen, an alleged unlisted ingredient in Monster brand energy drinks, can cause false positive drug screens for THC. After waiting an hour and retesting, my client’s second drug test came up negative for all drugs, including THC.

Needless to say, my client was beyond relieved and the Court was quite perplexed by the turn of events. This is a great lesson for attorneys to make sure their clients are aware of this potential problem and for anyone subject to random drug screens as part of a bond condition, probation condition or for their job to be aware that they could screen positive for THC despite not having consumed any illegal substance.

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