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Can I cheat on a breathalyzer test?

On Behalf of | May 25, 2023 | Criminal Defense

A breathalyzer test measures a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels, so law enforcement often uses its results as evidence in DUI cases. Because refusing to submit to this test usually entails harsh penalties, some drivers resort to the following tactics to immediately lower their BAC or trick breathalyzer devices into yielding lower-than-actual readings.

Chewing mint

Breathalyzers can read the alcohol in a person’s breath, so some drivers believe masking the scent of alcohol with mints can throw off the devices’ readings. However, eating mints do not affect your BAC. Moreover, mints usually contain menthol and sugar alcohols that might lead to false positive test results.

Gargling mouthwash

Like mints, mouthwash and breath sprays do not affect your BAC levels. Often, they also contain sugar substitutes and menthol.

Drinking coffee

Caffeine might help some people temporarily fight the sedative effects of alcohol, but it does not affect your BAC. It might help improve your concentration while driving, but if you are intoxicated, the breathalyzer test will likely still show intoxication.

Putting pennies in your mouth

The copper in pennies supposedly causes a chemical reaction that confuses breathalyzers or lowers BAC level readings. But not only are pennies no longer made from 100% copper, but many new breathalyzers use infrared to detect alcohol. Moreover, officers will usually check your mouth beforehand to maximize the test’s accuracy.

Burping during the test

Some drivers believe belching fools the test into reading their stomach gases instead of the alcohol in their breath. Unfortunately, burping does not affect the test’s readings.

Breathalyzer devices are becoming more sophisticated. Although they are not perfect, it is very unlikely you can cheat the device. However, if you believe you got an erroneous result, an experienced lawyer can help you build a defense and protect your rights.