You’ve no doubt heard someone boast about knowing tricks to beat a DWI breathalyzer test. Like most bragging, this claim is all talk and no substance. Our DWI lawyer in Kitsap County Washington takes a look at some of the more common myths and why they don’t work.
A breathalyzer is used to measure a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. So do any of these methods truly work to quickly reduce BAC?
1. Eating food
Some people believe that eating food will lower BAC. Their reasoning is that the digestive process will dilute the amount of alcohol in the blood. In reality, consuming food has absolutely no effect on BAC levels.
2. Using mints, chewing gum, breath sprays or mouthwash
The police officer who stops you may appreciate being greeted by fresh breath rather than a blast of alcohol. However, this is purely a superficial cosmetic fix. None of these products will do anything to reduce your blood alcohol level. Even worse, using breath mints or mouthwash could actually backfire. Breath mints contain sugar alcohol, while mouthwash has a high alcohol content. Either one may serve to boost BAC.
3. Sucking on pennies
The idea of sucking on pennies to lower your blood alcohol is something of an urban legend. No one can pinpoint exactly where the idea began, but word started to go around that the copper and zinc in pennies could interfere with the chemical process a breathalyzer uses to measure BAC levels. Not only is this untrue, but you’re more likely to get sick from the myriad of germs on the coins. Police officers are also alert to the presence of foreign objects in a person’s mouth during a breathalyzer test.
Some studies have indicated that hyperventilating may possibly reduce a BAC reading, but it can also leave you lightheaded and panting for breath, in which case a police officer will retest you.