When the police pull you over on suspicion of drunk driving, they may ask you to blow into a handheld device that measures your blood alcohol content. Refusing the test can result in harsh consequences, so it may be tempting to try to trick the machine.
Here are three common myths about beating breath testing machines and why you should not trust them:
1. I can drink coffee to sober up
Caffeine is a stimulant that, when consumed with alcohol, may make you feel less inhibited. However, it does not help your body metabolize alcohol any faster, and it will not affect your BAC.
2. I can use mouthwash
While mouthwash may help mask the residual scent of your pale ale, it is not likely to fool the breath test. In fact, most formulas contain alcohol, which can actually increase your BAC reading by 20 percent.
3. I can hold my breath
The officer will instruct you to inhale deeply and blow with force into the device so they can register an accurate reading. To combat this, you may hold your breath or try to breathe as lightly as possible. However, with law enforcement standing administering and monitoring your test, they may recognize your attempt to sway the results.
While there are several creative urban legends for getting through a traffic stop unscathed, there is no good way to fool a breath analysis machine. The best thing you can do to ensure you make it home without a DUI charge is to hand your keys off to a sober friend.