From the potentially logical to the purely ridiculous, ideas of beating a Breathalyzer test run rampant. Can you really trick the system and get out of getting arrested for a DUI? Probably not.
Here are some of the most common myths for beating the Breathalyzer and why they just plain don’t work.
- Applying breath spray. Breath spray actually contains alcohol, so it may send your blood alcohol content (BAC) levels through the roof. Even if you are not drunk, breath spray could still register as a false positive.
- Using mouthwash. Mouthwash contains alcohol as well; in fact, Listerine is about 27% alcohol. It’s good for cleaning your mouthâ€”but it’s not good for avoiding getting arrested.
- Belching. Some people believe that belching into the Breathalyzer will make the test register the gas in your stomach rather than the gas from your lungs. Actually, it does not change your results in the slightest and may even raise them.
- Holding your breath. Holding your breath actually increases the time the alcohol has to diffuse into your lungs. So it could actually significantly increase BAC.
- Sucking on pennies. The myth goes that the copper in penny reacts with alcohol to create a chemical reaction a nd affect Breathalyzer results. There is no proof to this theory, and besides, pennies are made mostly of zinc.
- Hyperventilating. Hyperventilating is the most likely method to work, as it replaces alcoholic gas with fresh air. But, it still hasn’t proven to significantly reduce BAC at all. When Adam and Jamie of the show Myth Busters tried this me thod on their show, Jamie ended up registering at 20% more blood alcohol content while hyperventilating.
- Eating breath mints. Breath mints contain sugar alcohols, so they’re unlikely to help your case.
- Holding a battery in the mouth. This is one of the strangest ideas out there. It was also tested on Myth Busters, with no effect on the Breathalyzer.
- Eating an onion. Again, there is no indication eating an onion can help in the slightest. Besides, it only intensifie s the smell of your breath.
- Applying denture cream. Applying denture cream slightly raised BAC when used on Myth Busters. So, it doesn’t appear to improve Breathalyzer results.
The Number One Way to Pass a Breathalyzer Test
Of course, the number one way to pass a Breathalyzer test is to avoid driving drunk. Whether you’ll pass the 0.08% legal limit depends on a variety of factors, including gender, weight, and time drinking.
For example, a 175 lb. male may not reach 0.08% until three 16 oz. Bud Lights, while a 123 lb. female might reach the same level af ter 2 ½ 5 oz. glasses champagne. Nevertheless, BAC levels still vary greatly from person to person, so it’s best not to risk driving after drinking at all.
Here’s what you can do instead:
- Find a designated driver
- Get a taxi
- Take the bus or train
- Enjoy a nonalcoholic drink with friends
- Seek help if you have a drinking problem. Alcoholics Anonymous is a great resource.
Don’t buy into the crazy myths about avoiding a Breathalyzer test; it won’t do you any favors. If you’ve messed up in th e past, now is the time to come clean and make things right!