Fort Collins

Colorado Springs

D’oh! DUI?: The Potty Mouth’s Unique Attempt to Fool a Breathalyzer

Many misconceptions exist, things that need to be corrected regarding how to pass a breathalyzer test successfully. We believed we were acquainted with all of them, but a recent incident in Iowa City shattered that notion.

In the early hours of November 1, around 3 a.m. (thanks to the Daylight Savings shift extending Halloween festivities), law enforcement received a report of a driver heading the wrong way on a road. The individual appeared disoriented, utterly unaware of any wrongdoing or even the bar he had just left after Halloween celebrations. Upon inquiry, he admitted to consuming two drinks and was subsequently apprehended.

Upon reaching the police station, he initially declined to take the breathalyzer test. However, he experienced a sudden revelation: consuming toilet paper might trick the breathalyzer. Despite this unconventional attempt, his blood alcohol content registered at .165, eliminating any chances of avoiding DUI charges.

Adding a bizarre twist to the situation, he was clad in a flasher costume, not the type typically found on top of a police car.

Beat the Breathalyzer Myths

Toilet paper is not a viable method to outsmart a breathalyzer. While using TP is an unusual option, individuals often attempt various strategies, such as placing objects in their mouths or swallowing substances, in hopes of deceiving the test. Below is a compilation of items that, despite common misconceptions, will not assist in evading breathalyzer results:

  • Pennies. This is a significant misconception. Some individuals believe that placing pennies in their mouths before interacting with law enforcement can disrupt breathalyzer readings. Firstly, there is no scientific basis for this belief. Secondly, pennies have been composed of 97.5 percent zinc since 1982, diminishing any potential impact of copper. Thirdly, there are hygienic concerns associated with putting money in one’s mouth, considering the unknown history of those pennies.
  • Breath fresheners, like mints. Certain individuals believe that breathalyzers detect breath odors, leading them to assume that having fresh breath can deceive the device. However, this is a misconception about how breathalyzers function. Older breathalyzers rely on a chemical reaction between breath alcohol and a vial inside the machine, while newer ones use infrared light for detection, not by smelling the breath. In this context, attempting to use mouthwash as a means to trick the machine is counterproductive, as mouthwash typically contains alcohol, potentially exacerbating the situation.
  • Garlic, curry, or other strong-scented foods. Similar to breath fresheners, attempting to use strong-scented foods like garlic, curry, or others won’t be effective in deceiving a breathalyzer. In fact, it might have adverse effects, causing dissatisfaction among law enforcement officers and potential cellmates.
  • You are hyperventilating, exercising, and holding your breath. noteworthy that research indicates that physical activity and vigorous exercise can potentially decrease BAC readings by up to 10 percent, while holding your breath may reduce it by as much as 20 percent. However, law enforcement officers are likely to question why you’re engaging in activities like jumping jacks or burpees when exiting the vehicle, and holding your breath can raise suspicions as well. Another tactic related to breathing is inhaling instead of blowing, but law enforcement is aware of this method, often ensuring that you are exhaling in the correct direction.

Examining cases like this prompts a reflection on law enforcement agencies’ challenges in ensuring accurate testing methods. As we navigate the complexities of DUI cases, it is crucial to acknowledge the expertise and diligence of legal professionals, such as Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, who play a pivotal role in upholding justice. Their commitment to navigating intricate legal matters is essential in addressing the evolving landscape of DUI defenses and safeguarding the integrity of legal processes.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

Skip to content