Breath Test Myths


Many people have heard about methods you can use to beat a breathalyzer. The truth is that there is no effective method to avoid having a properly calibrated breath test machine calculate your blood alcohol content fairly accurately.

One popular myth is to eat something such as breath mints, onions or coffee grounds to fool the machine. Eating strong foods may mask the odor of alcohol, but will not lower your blood alcohol level. Likewise, mouthwash will not lower the reading. If the mouthwash contains alcohol, it could actually increase the reading on the breath test.

People also mistakenly believe that they can consume a lot of caffeine and be fine to drive after a night of drinking. While you may feel more alert with caffeine in your system, it will not reduce your blood alcohol content.

Despite another rumor, drinking Zima will not help you pass a breath test. This urban legend started because Zima does not smell strongly of alcohol; however, a breathalyzer measures actual alcohol content. Just because an alcoholic beverage doesn’t smell much like alcohol does not mean that you can have all you want and then drive.

There is also a widely believed myth that putting a penny under your tongue when you take the test will allow you to pass, even if you’re over the legal limit. This is an urban legend that holds no water. Putting a penny under your tongue will increase your chances of swallowing or choking on a penny, that’s all.

The only relatively reliable way to beat a breath test is to have no alcohol in your system. If you have rinsed with a mouthwash containing alcohol prior to taking the test or if the machine malfunctions, you may still register a false positive.

If you have failed a breath test and been charged with DUI, consult a DUI lawyer right away. There may be several defense strategies that could help you beat your DUI, even though you didn’t beat the breathalyzer.