Most mouthwashes are made with alcohol, and using mouthwash can interfere with a breath test for DUI.
There is a persistent myth that if you’re pulled over for drunk driving, you can gargle some mouth wash or use a breath spray to “cover up” the scent of alcohol. Unfortunately, not only is this not true—a Breathalyzer will detect alcohol no matter how your breath smells—it can actually get the opposite result. Often, mouthwash will make a breath test think you’re drunker than you really are.
This is because most mouth wash is made with alcohol. When you swish it around in your mouth, you are coating your mouth and throat with highly concentrated alcohol. This can continue to give off alcohol vapor for a significant length of time. When you take a breath test for DUI, the machine has no way of telling this alcohol apart from alcohol in air from your lungs, and you will get a wrongly high BAC result.
This problem is not limited to mouth wash alone. Other products that can throw off a breath test include:
- Alcohol-based mouth sprays
- Cough syrup with alcohol in it
- Herbal tinctures with an alcohol base
- Any product containing alcohol
If this may have affected your DUI case, your lawyer can use a mouth alcohol defense to defend your case.
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