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What mouth products can affect the breathalyzer test?

On Behalf of | Sep 5, 2018 | Drunk Driving |

Alcohol can appear in everyday products you use to get yourself ready in the morning or to prepare for a night out. You certainly will not feel drunk while using them, but in front of the police, they can make you look drunk.

There are many ways a breathalyzer test can go wrong and make you look like you are over the legal alcohol limit. Even if the police keep the device clean, they may not account for what has been in your mouth for the last hour and will arrest you for thinking you were driving while intoxicated. Before you head out into the streets of Valdosta, it is important to know what products could have negative effects on a breathalyzer that make you look guilty.


Many Georgia drivers do not have time to brush their teeth, so they have a bottle of mouthwash in their vehicles to have fresh, minty breath wherever they are going. Unfortunately, many mouthwashes contain up to 30 percent alcohol in their liquids, which means that a breathalyzer and even an ignition interlock device can be fooled into thinking you had a lot to drink. If you have to take a breathalyzer test, be sure to clarify that you recently had mouthwash and tell the cops when you had it so they can wait some additional time for it to pass before using the device.

Cough syrup

Medicine is essential for those dealing with sore throats and coughing fits, but the medication itself can throw the breathalyzer off. Even popular products such as Nyquil have at least 10 percent alcohol content. While you may still get charges as some products do warn you not to drive after using them, they are still better circumstances than getting a DUI conviction.

Breath enhancements

When people want a quicker and less messier way to get clean breath, they can use breath spray, chewing gum or breath mints to get the job done. Unfortunately, all of these can affect your BAC and make you look bad in front of the local police. Additionally, these items have a good chance of making you belch into the device, which can potentially raise your BAC even higher as you are expelling more air that could contain alcohol into the breathalyzer.

If you had any of these products in your mouth, make sure to let your Georgia DUI lawyer know about it so they can help you build a solid defense and prevent you from getting a wrong conviction. It is important to be aware of these to avoid any potential legal trouble that a DUI can bring you.