For as long as there have been cars and alcohol, there have been drunk drivers. As such, there have been all types of ways people have tried to get out of a DUI. With today’s police breathalyzer and ignition interlock technology, it is more and more difficult to hide how intoxicated we are, yet people still insist on tricks like sucking on pennies or chewing gum to beat or get out of a breathalyzer test.
Wait, can we chew gum and confuse the DUI breathalyzer test?
No, of course not. Let’s dispel this rumor for once and for all.
It is true that some mouthwashes that keep our breath minty fresh can actually affect the reading on a police breathalyzer or ignition interlock. Both devices detect ethanol, the alcohol that is present in beer, wine or liquor. The same alcohol is used in some mouthwashes, and if there is any residue remaining from a quick swish, then the breathalyzer or interlock can detect it. The only similarity between gum and mouthwash is a mint flavor. There is no ethanol in gum.
On top of that, some mint gum may have sorbitol or other alcohol sugars listed as an ingredient. That’s all different, too, as nobody has ever gotten drunk or even buzzed off of too much sugar-free gum. The gum you chew, while possibly approved by four out of five dentists, cannot affect the result of your breathalyzer or ignition interlock breath test.
Most of the time, people confuse the reasons why breathalyzer tests aren’t considered reliable by the court and use that misinformation to try to beat the test. Given our current technology and the millions of people who have tried to get out of a DUI in weird ways, the effort we put into getting out of a DUI is best used to just plan for a safe ride home.