Is it possible to 'fool' the alcohol meter?

There are still many misconceptions about what a breathalyzer can and cannot do, and how to "beat" the device when tested on the road. Here are the concepts and facts.

Wrong: Breathing, mint and mouthwash products can hide alcohol and / or reduce the alcohol content index (BAC).


Look carefully before rinsing your mouth. Fragrant breath products such as chewing gum, peppermint or mouth sprays can hide the smell of alcohol, but they cannot change the alcohol content of the breath. Some mouthwashes even contain alcohol, and thus may increase BAC.

Picture 1 of Is it possible to 'fool' the alcohol meter?
Holding your breath before blowing into an alcohol meter increases your BAC by up to 20%.

False: It is possible to 'fool' the blower by sucking a coin


This 'legend' is surprisingly widespread, and also completely false. Putting a coin or any other coin under the tongue does not affect the breath result. No medicine can do this, including herbal medicine, activated charcoal, garlic or snake oil.

False: Blowers are not as sensitive in smokers as in non-smokers.


Acetaldehyde is an organic compound that is significantly higher in smokers' lungs than non-smokers. Some cheaper semiconductor blowers may be affected by particularly high levels of acetaldehyde, but professional blowers are sensitive enough to not be disabled by this compound.

False: It is possible to 'win' on the device by breathing heavily, exercising or holding its breath before blowing.


A study often cited for decades has found that reducing ventilation and heavy exercise actually reduce BAC levels of subjects by as much as 10%. In contrast, holding your breath increases your target's BAC by up to 20%. Unfortunately, these activities can also be a bit dizzy and require shortness of breath - an action that is sure to catch the attention of law enforcement officials who suspect the person is being affected by beer. alcohol. In addition, not blowing heavily on a ventilator has little effect, as the air pump technology included in professional blowers can provide accurate BAC numbers even for small breath samples.

False: The blower only measures alcohol - and nothing else.


Substances that contain small amounts of alcohol can cause false positive results, such as some mouthwashes and toothache medications. In addition, some personal ventilators can measure alcohol-like molecular structures, such as acetone, in the breaths of diabetics and people on protein-rich diets. Incorrect results may also be caused by paint fumes, varnishes, alcohol-based cleaning agents, and some plastics and adhesives.

False: The blower is always 100% accurate.


All commercial blowers can reliably identify if there is alcohol in the breath sample. But the accuracy of breath test results can vary significantly.

Blower models are usually divided into two categories: personal use or professional use. Professional blowers have extremely high precision and sensitivity, and use advanced fuel cell sensor technology like those used by law enforcement to check alcohol on the road. Because prices for handsets have decreased in recent years, they are increasingly popular for personal use. All blowers must be calibrated periodically to maintain accuracy, otherwise it may affect the BAC.

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