Is It Possible to Fool a Breathalyzer?

A lot of people are wondering how to fool a breathalyzer, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s actually more likely you’re going to heighten the chances of failing the test. Here is a list of the most popular techniques people are resorting to, as well as all the myths and realities of doing so:

#1: Breath spray

It sounds good on paper, but does it work? Newsflash: a typical breath spray actually contains alcohol, and that’s certainly going to get picked up by a breathalyzer. Actually, it’s going to make you score so high, you’re probably going to have to go in serious debt just to repay the fees.

But people use a breath spray for other purposes, not just to cover up the fact that they’ve been drinking, so what’s the catch? Well, the good news is that using a breath spray will only give a false positive on the test for about 20 minutes. After that, you should be fine.

#2: Breath mints and mouthwash

You’ve guessed it – they contain alcohol as well, so it’s definitely not a good idea to use them. As a matter of fact, a typical mouthwash has more than 1/4 of alcohol in it, and that will just send the alcohol detection signals through the roof.

While they may cover up the smell of alcohol, they certainly won’t lower the actual levels of alcohol in your breath, which are still going to get picked up by the machine.

#3: Holding your breath

This one will cause the alcohol to diffuse in your lungs, and will make you score up to 15% higher on the test.

#4: Sucking on a penny

For some reason, this has become the most popular urban myth surrounding the alcohol reduction in your breath. Well, in theory this should be because of a chemical reaction between alcohol in copper, but even if this were true, pennies actually consist of zinc. So this certainly won’t help you.

#5: Hyperventilating

This is probably the only method you’re going to see some success with. But even so, the success will be severely limited. It’s actually possible to reduce the alcohol test results up to 10% by hyperventilating. In case you don’t know, hyperventilating is basically inhaling as much fresh air into your lungs by taking deep breaths of fresh air.

But it certainly won’t help you score negative on the test. Depending on the amount of alcohol you drank that night, however, this might save your day, or it may not.

A word of caution: if you’re seriously drunk, hyperventilating will make you dizzy, and you’ll most likely fail all the other tests like touching your nose with your fingertips and walking in a straight line because of this. So this method may benefit you or harm you, depending on the amount of alcohol in your blood.

Final words of advice

As you can see, it’s next to impossible to fool a breathalyzer. But the good news is, the results of a breathalyzer test can’t be used in court. They are only suitable to help an officer determine whether the driver should be arrested or not.

Still, the only real way to stay safe is to avoid drinking and driving if possible. If you need to go home, you could always go by taxi or use a bus.