Okay, let’s talk about what happened recently in South Carolina because it has a message that applies anywhere in the nation.
A 49-year-old man was pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving — and the officer’s suspicions were ultimately correct. However, the man decided that emptying a can of Axe body spray into his mouth would somehow either cover up the alcohol in his breath or fool the Breathalyzer.
It didn’t. He registered more than twice the legal limit.
That may be the newest attempt to try to fool a Breathalyzer, but it’s certainly not the first. Let’s go over a bunch of other ways that will absolutely not work if you’re trying to influence the reading of a Breathalyzer:
- Eating toilet paper
- Breath mints
- Chewing antacids
- Rinsing with mouthwash
- Burping into the Breathalyzer
- Sucking on a penny
Here’s why none of those things work — and why some of them could even make your situation worse: First of all, Breathalyzers measure the alcohol content that’s coming from your lungs and convert it into a measure of what’s in your actual blood stream. They don’t measure what’s in your mouth — so it doesn’t matter what you stick in your mouth, it isn’t going to change the reading. Nor will it absorb the alcohol on the way as you breathe out.
Second, you could hurt yourself trying some of these methods. You could choke on the penny and rinsing with mouthwash could actually raise your Breathalyzer results (since many mouthwashes have alcohol in them). Hyperventilating is just likely to make you pass out — in which case, officers will have to resort to blood testing. Either way, it won’t help your situation.
The only way to beat the Breathalyzer is to drive sober. If you’ve been drinking, call for a ride.
Now, that being said, there are times when the Breathalyzer is wrong. They can be misused, mis-calibrated and just defective. If you’ve been charged with drunk driving, get an experienced defense attorney on your side.