According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, in 2011, 9,878 people were
killed in alcohol-related crashes in the United States. ABC Action News
reports that two-thirds of drunk drivers are
So, it makes sense as to why MADD believes that one of the best ways to
reduce the number of drunk drivers on the roads is to step up law enforcement’s
efforts to arrest drunk drivers.
But there will always be those drivers who have a “high tolerance”
for alcohol. They’re convinced that they can “beat”
the field sobriety tests, and they think that if they swish a little mouthwash,
they can fool an officer and act completely sober, even though they’re
Below, we’re going to clear up some common misconceptions about sobriety tests:
#1 Mouthwash can help me beat a breathalyzer test.
Sorry, but breathalyzers can’t be fooled by fresh breath. They measure
the alcohol level in a person’s breath, and no amount of alcohol
or breath mints can reduce that reading. In fact, an officer who notices
that you just swigged mouthwash may take that as an indication that you’re
trying to mask the smell of alcohol on your breath.
# 2. Coffee and energy drinks can sober me up.
Sorry, but no amount of caffeine will sober you up. Whether you’re
drinking vodka and Red Bull or chasing six beers with a strong cup of
black coffee, the only thing that the caffeine will do is “trick” you into
thinking you’re sober. What you’ll actually be is a “wide
Time is the only thing that can help sober you up, so don’t be fooled
into thinking that coffee or an energy drink will make you perform better
on a field sobriety test.
#3. Sucking on a penny will fool a breathalyzer.
There’s an urban legend that sucking on a (copper) penny will confuse
or invalidate a breathalyzer test; it has no basis in fact. Not only that,
pennies are no longer made primarily of copper, they’re mostly made of zinc.
#4. You could be asked to recite the alphabet backwards.
Unless you’re in second or third grade, you probably can’t
recite the alphabet backwards sober! While the alphabet test is a common
field sobriety test in some jurisdictions, suspects are not asked to recite
the alphabet backwards – thank goodness!
However, suspects may be asked to recite the alphabet with their eyes closed
as the officers check their balance and coordination.
#5. You can’t refuse the field sobriety tests.
Field sobriety tests (the roadside tests) are optional. This means that you can politely refuse
to take them and there will be no consequences for refusing. However,
if you are arrested and you subsequently refuse to submit to a
chemical test, you face an automatic driver’s license suspension.
We hope this list clears up a few things for you. If you need an Orange
County DUI lawyer,
contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free case evaluation!