Young Woman Taking a Breathalyzer TestIf you drive after consuming alcohol, you may feel desperate when you see police lights flashing behind you and know that you are being pulled over. The police officer could ask you to blow into a small, handheld device called an Alco-Sensor for a preliminary breath screening test or a Model Intox EC/IR II machine at the police station for a formal breathalyzer test. While you are not required to agree to this, refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test can come with harsh penalties. Your refusal could be used against you in criminal DWI proceedings, and your driver’s license could be suspended for up to a year. Instead of refusing to blow into the breathalyzer machine, you may consider agreeing to submit to the test and trying to "trick" it to pass. Will this work?

Common Myths About Tricking a Breathalyzer Test

Some people are under the mistaken impression that they can pass a breathalyzer test. You may have even heard a story of a co-worker or friend who claims to have done so. Unfortunately, these ways of tricking the breathalyzer machine simply do not work. Here are some common myths about how to beat a breathalyzer test that you do not want to follow:

  1. Eating food. Some people think that eating food after consuming alcohol can lower their blood alcohol content (BAC). However, once you drink the alcohol, it enters your bloodstream, and eating will not reduce your BAC.
  2. Eating mints or gum. While chewing gum or eating mints may reduce the odor on your breath, it will not reduce your BAC. All you would be doing is hiding the scent of other ingredients in your drink because the alcohol itself is odorless. In addition, your mints could contain sugar alcohol.
  3. Using mouthwash or breath spray. One of the ingredients of mouthwash is alcohol. In fact, Listerine is approximately 27 percent alcohol—and many breath sprays also contain it. Even if you are not legally drunk, using breath spray or mouthwash could increase your BAC and result in a false positive test.
  4. Burping. Some people believe that burping while taking a breathalyzer test will cause the device to register the gas from their stomach instead of their lungs. Unfortunately, this is not true, and belching will not have an impact on the test.
  5. Holding your breath. Holding your breath can actually increase the time the alcohol has to diffuse in your lungs instead of decrease it. As a result, you could have a higher test result than if you had not tried this trick.
  6. Sucking on pennies. The myth is that sucking on a penny will create a chemical reaction that will result in a reduced BAC. The whole myth is based on pennies containing copper, but pennies are no longer made of this metal. In addition, police officers are supposed to check to be certain you have nothing in your mouth before administering the test.
  7. Putting a battery in the mouth. Some people mistakenly think that putting a battery on their tongue will beat the breathalyzer test. This technique does not work, and it may be impossible to hide the battery in your mouth from the police officer.
  8. Hyperventilating. Hyperventilating can actually replace alcohol gases with fresh air. However, this technique does not work to reduce your BAC, and the police officer would most likely see you doing it and make you retake the test.
  9. Drinking coffee. Some people think that they can sober up quickly by drinking coffee before driving. Unfortunately, this is not true and would have no effect on your breathalyzer test results.
  10. Eating an onion. Like these other myths, eating an onion does not affect your BAC. In addition, you are not really masking the odor of alcohol either.
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Contact Our Charlotte DWI Attorneys If You Have Been Charged With Driving While Intoxicated

While trying any of these techniques will not help you beat a breathalyzer test, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney can achieve just that. Sometimes the breathalyzer can produce an inaccurate test result. For example, the machine may not have been calibrated right or the test may not have been administered correctly. An attorney who handles many driving while intoxicated (DWI) cases will know the problems with breathalyzer tests and how to challenge the results. This could result in the charges against you being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense.

Have you been charged with DWI? Did you fail your breathalyzer test? Call our office today to schedule your free consultation to get your questions answered and learn how we can help protect your legal rights. Having a DWI on your record can carry significant long-term consequences with you for the rest of your life. Read how we were able to get our client's DWI charges dismissed in one of our successful DWI case results.

Have You Been Arrested for a DWI in Charlotte, NC?

If you are facing DWI charges, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Charlotte office directly at 980.207.3355 to schedule your free consultation.


Howard W. Long, II
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Charlotte Criminal Defense and DWI Lawyer
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