Failing a breathalyzer test has severe consequences. For starters, you will likely be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. A conviction for a DUI can mean imprisonment and substantial fines and court costs. Your license may be suspended. You will have a conviction on your record which can make it hard to get a new job or obtain a loan. Your car insurance premiums will likely rise and you may not be even be able to get car insurance.
Drivers give their implied consent to take a breathalyzer test if the police have reasonable grounds to give you the test. The refusal to take the test may be admissible in court. A refusal to take the test will probably result in a suspension of your license.
Common “beat the breathalyzer test” myths
Some strategies have developed that drivers falsely think can be used to defeat a breathalyzer test. Drivers who try these tricks should not be surprised when their blood alcohol limit (BAC) is found to be above the legal limit of .08 (for most drivers). These unreliable breathalyzer methods include:
- Copper coins. Sucking on a copper coin or licking it won’t help. The legend is that the that the copper in the coin will neutralize the alcohol and thus lower your BAC. The problem, for starters, is that the breathalyzer test uses the air from your lungs and not from your mouth. Even if copper did affect the BAC level, most coins in circulation have little or no copper in them.
- Drinking mouthwash, ingesting a mint, or using a breath spray. These items won’t help your BAC score, either. If anything, a mouthwash or breath spray could increase your BAC level because some mouthwashes and sprays have alcohol in them. Even some breath mints have alcohol.
- Holding your breath. It doesn’t work. According to ThoughtCo.com, “If you hold your breath you allow more time for alcohol to diffuse into your lungs, increasing the apparent BAC as measured by a breathalyzer by up to 15%.”
- Eating your clothing or toilet paper. The mistaken thought is that by somehow digesting something that’s an absorbent, that the absorbent will dilute the amount of alcohol the BAC test reads. Alas, these absorbents don’t affect the amount of ethanol in your bloodstream. Also, the absorbent could cause a deadly intestinal obstruction.
Other myths include chewing gum, chewing on a cigarette, belching into the breathalyzer equipment, and drinking Zima after you drink alcohol.
There is some thought that hyperventilating before you breathe into the machine could help in borderline cases. The police officer is sure to notice if you hyperventilate. Plus, hyperventilating could make you dizzy which is a sign of intoxication.
Strategies a lawyer may use to challenge a breathalyzer test
Experienced DUI attorneys will challenge the authority of the police to stop you. They will contest the right of the officer to give you test. If you fail the breathalyzer test, DUI defense lawyers will seek to question the validity of the test. For example, breathalyzer equipment is required to be regularly inspected and certified.
Tricks won’t help you win your DUI case, but an experienced lawyer may. The Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler understands how breathalyzer tests should work and when the results can be challenged. Skilled DUI lawyers fight for anyone charged with drunk driving in Franklin, Columbia or Brentwood. To discuss your DUI case with an aggressive attorney, please call 615-977-9370 or complete the contact form.