When a driver is pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, law enforcement officials may choose to have them take a breathalyzer test as part of the encounter. A breathalyzer requires the driver being tested to blow into the device, which measures the presence of alcohol.
The breathalyzer then is able to estimate the blood alcohol content (BAC) using this breath test. If the driver is found to have a BAC at or above .08, they risk an arrest for DUI (except Utah, where the legal BAC limit is .05 percent).
There are many “tips” on passing a breathalyzer that involve things like holding a penny in your mouth before testing, taking mints, drinking coffee, mouthwash, or other items that supposedly confuse the test. However, none of these tips will actually help you pass a breathalyzer test if you are intoxicated.
Successfully Passing a Breathalyzer or Ignition Interlock Device Test
Ignition interlock devices are often called car breathalyzers. They function similarly to the devices law enforcement uses, with a key difference. If a driver has an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle, this means it is wired into the ignition. The car will not start until the driver passes the test. If the device is court-mandated, all test failures are reported to the state’s monitoring authority.
To successfully pass a breathalyzer or an ignition interlock device test, drivers should:
- Avoid drinking to excess: this is the only foolproof way to avoid a DUI arrest or IID failure. If you are careful not to drink to excess, you should be able to drive safely and responsibly. Err on the side of caution if you do decide to indulge while you have an IID installed.
- Avoid mouthwash and perfume before testing: Mouthwash, perfume, hand sanitizers and cologne all contain small amounts of alcohol and can interfere with testing. Wait 15 minutes if you have to use any of these products before testing.
- Make alternative plans to get home: there is always another choice. Though it might seem like a pain to leave your car, if you drink too much, it’s the safest option. You’ll keep the roads safe and avoid having a potential test failure reported to your state’s monitoring authority. You can call a cab, ask a friend to drive you, take rideshare, use public transportation, or see if your host will let you sober up.
- Never tamper with your device: it might be tempting to have someone else take a test for you, or attempt to bypass the device, but don’t. It’s a very serious offense and could have very serious consequences. Also, the devices are impossible to hack successfully - all attempts will be reported.
Many states have compliance-based interlock policies, which means failures to pass a BrAC could result in a longer interlock requirement, or other penalties. It’s best to avoid the issue altogether by drinking responsibly and planning ahead.
Need an Interlock? Intoxalock Can Help
Whether you’ve been mandated to install an IID or simply want to get one for your own reasons, Intoxalock can help. Our interlock devices are available in all 50 states, and our representatives are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have. Call or fill out the form on this page to get started on the process.