The police may ask drivers to take a chemical breath test. A chemical breath test is a small portable machine that can read drivers’ blood alcohol content (BAC). The higher a driver’s BAC, the more inebriated they are. A BAC reading of .08 or higher can lead to an OWI charge.
Some people will try to trick a breath test. Typically, these tricks won’t do anything or may even worsen someone’s BAC reading. Here’s what you should know:
1. Mouthwash, breath freshener, mints or gum
Mouthwash, breath spray, mints and gum can help freshen someone’s breath. Many of these products include alcohol. Some mouthwash brands have almost 30 percent alcohol. Using any of these products before taking a breath test could raise the BAC reading. Non-alcohol products can still help remove someone’s breath odor, but they won’t lower a BAC reading.
2. Perfume or cologne
Most perfumes and colognes also include alcohol. These products can be used to hide the smell of alcoholic drinks, but they won’t do anything to help with a breath test.
3. Pennies in your mouth
It’s often believed that a penny can help people during breath tests. People would suck on the pennies and the intended effect was to reduce the BAC or make the BAC reading so high that it was physically impossible to be drunk. But, pennies won’t do either of those things.
4. Drinking coffee
Many people know that alcohol is a depressant. They may try to negate the alcoholic effects by drinking coffee. This won’t help someone’s inebriation levels and a breath test can still get an accurate reading.
Drivers should be aware of their legal rights during traffic stops. If you believe your legal rights were violated, then you may need to learn what options you have for a defense.