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Can you trick the breath test used to check for drunk driving?

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2022 | DUI

Police officers use chemical breath tests as part of the evaluation process during drunk driving traffic stops. If someone performs the test and scores over the legal limit for their age and type of license, they will likely get arrested on the spot. 

Some people will happily share with you their special trick or life hack for passing a breath test even after having a beer or two. Do any of these breath test “solutions” actually work? 

Most so-called hacks stem from bad science

Some people will tell you that sucking on a copper penny before a breath test will help you pass. Others might tell you to drink coffee or swish with mouthwash before the officer reaches your vehicle. Each of these tricks is the result of a different inaccurate belief. 

Breath tests look at the air coming from your lungs, not what is in your mouth. Making minor chemical changes to the inside of your mouth will have minimal impact on breath test results. Mouthwashes often contain alcohol and might actually increase the alcohol reported by the test. Drinking coffee does nothing to sober you up and certainly would not work fast enough to make a difference during a traffic stop. 

The hacks and tricks that people use to pass breath tests aren’t just unreliable. Sometimes, they could hurt their case. When you understand that you will not be able to trick breath tests, that may change some of the decisions that you make and could ultimately reduce your risk of getting arrested. 

Learning more about the rules and science that apply to drunk driving cases can help those facing impaired driving charges.