Breathalyzers came onto the scene quite a few years ago, and thanks to this form of technology, many drunk drivers have been tested and faced fines and punishment for driving under the influence. There are many tall tales and misconceptions about what a breathalyzer is capable of. Drivers often wonder if it can be tricked or if it can yield false results. Here we offer you the facts separated from the fiction on the truth about breathalyzer tests.
Myth: You can use a breath mint or breath freshener to trick a breathalyzer.
The Truth is: Breath fresheners only cover up the odor of alcohol but will not lower the amount of alcohol found in your system. Be especially careful with trying to rinse quickly with a mouthwash. Many contain alcohol and can raise your readings.
Myth: Smokers are more difficult to read, than non-smokers.
The Truth is: Acetaldehyde is the culprit of this myth. It is a compound found in heavy smokers and can possibly throw off the readings of lower cost units made from semiconductors. Professional grade fuel sensor breathalyzers cannot be fooled by this substance and this is the type of breathalyzer that most law enforcement officers carry.
Myth: Sucking on a penny can help you beat a breathalyzer test.
The Truth is: This is a total urban myth and there is no truth in it. A penny, nor any herbal formulas or secret elixirs can trick a breathalyzer.
Myth: Breathalyzer results can be used against you in court.
The Truth is: Not always. The purpose of a breathalyzer is for screening purposes while patrolling the roads and highways. They are for assisting officers in the detection of alcohol and illegal substances. The results are not always admissible in a court hearing.
Myth: The breathalyzer is 100% correct and accurate.
The Truth is: Commercial breathalyzers can always detect the presence of alcohol but its accuracy can vary greatly. Professional breathalyzers are highly sensitive and therefore highly accurate. Semiconductor breathalyzers are not as sensitive and are for more personal use than anything. All breathalyzers, commercial and professional grade, need to be calibrated periodically to remain reliable and accurate.