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Can alcohol-based mouthwashes result in a drunk driving arrest?

Imagine you're running late to work one Tuesday morning and as you're making a dash through your house, you take a last minute swig of mouthwash. Or, maybe you did a quick mouth refresh by swirling some Listerine through your teeth while you were en route to the office. Shortly after, you accidentally run through a red light and a Union County officer pulls you over.

For some reason, the officer thinks you may have been drinking and he asks you to blow into a Breathalyzer. Thinking nothing of it, you comply. The next thing you know, you're being cuffed, charged with a drunk driving violation and booked at the local jailhouse. You're baffled because you know that you haven't drunk a single drop of alcohol. How could you have failed your Breathalyzer exam?

Interestingly enough, you can fail a Breathalyzer test up to 10 minutes after washing your mouth with an alcohol-based mouthwash. This could result in your arrest and if you don't successfully defend yourself against the drunk driving charges, a conviction.

There are a lot more ways that a New Jersey resident could get inappropriately accused of drunk driving. Perhaps you took a medication that you didn't know would have an intoxicating effect, or perhaps you drank some "hunch punch" at a party that you weren't aware contained alcohol. Being inebriated or being intoxicated isn't always entirely obvious to the people who are intoxicated, especially when they weren't aware that consumed an intoxicant.

Regardless what series of events led to your drunk driving arrest and DUI charges, a criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate your criminal proceedings. Your defense attorney will try to reduce the chances conviction and/or reduce the severity of punishments in the event that a conviction is likely.

Source: Whitening Teeth Help, "Can Using Mouthwash Make You Fail A Breathalyzer?," accessed July 21, 2017

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Can alcohol-based mouthwashes result in a drunk driving arrest? | The Law Offices of Palumbo & Renaud