The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120


Sprays, Mouthwash, and Other Breathalyzer Tricks That Probably Will Not Help You

Posted on in DUI

breathalyzer, Elgin DUI defense attorneyIn Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the wise Jedi master Yoda offers this sage advice: "Fear is the path that leads to the dark side." There is no question that fear makes people do some pretty strange things. When we are afraid, we may lash out at close friends and loved ones, we may turn inward and become self-destructive, and we may act in ways that are very uncharacteristic. Fear is also often of the strongest emotions present when a person is pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving—fear of conviction, license suspension, and other penalties—and some drivers will do just about anything to escape prosecution.

One Poor Choice After Another

Earlier this week, a man in Rock Hill, South Carolina was pulled over by local police after law enforcement officers observed the man’s car swerving and crossing the center line several times. As the prepared to approach the car, officers say they saw the driver "actively spraying AXE body spray into his mouth," and included the observation in their police report. When they asked the man what he was doing, the report states that he told them he was just applying the spray from "head to toe."

It is unclear whether the driver hoped to mask the smell of alcohol on his person or if he thought the spray might taint the results of a breathalyzer test. Either way, the man reportedly failed three separate field sobriety tests and was arrested on charges of driving under the influence.

Myths About Breath Tests

You may have heard that if you need to drive when you are at or near the legal limit, you should keep mouthwash or mints in your car. Some may have even suggested sucking on a penny or other tricks for beating a breathalyzer. While certain substances—alcohol-based mouthwash, for example—could temporarily increase the amount of alcohol in your breath, a properly administered breathalyzer takes such methods into account. In most cases, the official test will not be administered until you have been observed for at least 15 minutes without putting anything in your mouth, thereby limiting the effect of masking or tainting agents.

This is not to say that breathalyzers are perfect or that the testing procedure is always beyond reproach. But, rather than wasting your time on trying to fool the machine, you may be better off simply exercising your right to refuse such a test, even though a statutory summary suspension may result.

Call Our Office Today

If you have been arrested on DUI charges or a facing a license suspension for failing or refusing a breathalyzer test, you need legal help. Call an experienced Elgin DUI defense attorney at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today. We will provide the guidance you need throughout the proceedings and can even help you get back on the road sooner than you may have thought possible.


Last modified on
Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
Back to Top