4 Lies You Believe About the Breathalyzer

A breathalyzer is a tool that police officers use to measure how much alcohol you have in your system. It works by having you blow into the machine, which will then measure the amount of alcohol on your breath, which is then translated to your blood alcohol content, or BAC. If you are at or above 0.08% BAC in Alabama, you will be charged with drunk driving or a similar violation. While the breathalyzer is a commonly used tool, most people have a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions about it. The following are several of the most commonly believed lies about the breathalyzer, and why they are false.

1. Drinking Lots of Water will Dilute the Results

When you’ve been drinking, your body will need to process the alcohol so that it can be removed from your system. No matter how much water (or other liquids) you drink, it won’t speed that process up or dilute the alcohol in your bloodstream. The only way to get better results on a breathalyzer test is to wait enough time for the alcohol to pass out of your system.

2. Mouthwash, Perfume, Mints, or Other Substances Can Trick a Breathalyzer

There are a million similar myths that say if you put mouthwash, perfume, mints, a copper penny, or any number of other things in your mouth just prior to taking a breathalyzer, it will trick the test. These are all entirely false and will do little more than potentially upset the police officer. If you have to take a breathalyzer, there is really no way to trick the system.

3. You Can Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer

This one is only partly false. If an officer asks you to take a breathalyzer test, you actually can refuse. If you do, however, the officer will almost certainly bring you to a nearby hospital to conduct a blood test. Additionally, refusing to take a breathalyzer test will almost always result in the immediate revocation of your driver’s license, so this is typically not going to be a good strategy.

4. If You Blow .08 or Higher on a Breathalyzer, You Will be Found Guilty

This is one of the most dangerous myths about the breathalyzer. While it is true that the results of a breathalyzer test will be used against you in court, that absolutely doesn’t mean an automatic conviction. An experienced attorney will be able to craft an effective argument against your guilt, and can often even have the breathalyzer results thrown out of the case entirely. Contact John M. Totten to schedule a consultation and learn about your options today.

Written by John M. Totten

John M. Totten

John's office is in Athens, Alabama, where he has helped thousands of people in North Alabama with everything from family law issues, to catastrophic injury and death cases, to criminal defense.