maandag 21 maart 2011

Driving Under the Influence of…Binaca?

Don’t spray and drive.
So you’re driving along and suddenly there are flashing red lights in your rear view mirror. You recall that glass of wine with dinner: not nearly enough to be over .08%, of course, but enough to cause an odor of alcohol on the breath. As you pull over, you grab the breath freshener and quickly spray it into your mouth. The officer asks you to step out of the car, holds out a portable breath testing device and asks you to blow into it. A moment later you are being handcuffed.

What happened? One of the many problems with breath machines is that they cannot tell the difference between alcohol coming from the lungs and alcohol which is already in the mouth or throat. This problem is referred to as mouth alcohol, and is particularly troublesome because, believing it to be alcohol from the lungs, the breath machines will incorrectly multiply the detected alcohol by 2100 times (see my earlier post, Breathalyzers — and Why They Don’t Work).
One common source of breath alcohol is breath spray, as well as mouthwash — both of which contain significant amounts of alcohol. Listerine, for example, contains 27% alcohol, Scope 19% and Astring-O-Sol 76%. Even a tiny amount of this on the breath or in the throat, if multiplied by the machine 2100 times, can result in high breathalyzer readings.
This was clearly illustrated in a study conducted with Listerine mouthwash on a breath machine and reported in an article entitled "Field Sobriety Testing: Intoxilyzers and Listerine Antiseptic", published in the July 1985 issue of The Police Chief . Seven alcohol-free individuals were tested at a police station, with readings of .00%. Each then rinsed his mouth with 20 milliliters of Listerine mouthwash for 30 seconds in accordance with directions on the label. All seven were then tested on the machine at intervals of one, three, five and ten minutes.
The results indicated an average reading of .43% blood-alcohol concentration — indicating a level that, if accurate, approached lethal proportions. After three minutes, the average level was still .20%, despite the absence of any alcohol in the system. Even after five minutes, the average level was .11% — well over the legal limit.
In another study, reported in 8(22) Drinking/Driving Law Letter 1, a scientist tested the effects of Binaca breath spray on an Intoxilyzer 5000. He performed 23 tests with subjects who sprayed their throats, and obtained readings as high as .81% — far beyond lethal levels. The scientist also noted that the effects of the spray did not fall below detectable levels until after 18 minutes.
Don’t spray and drive.
source ( from here )

41 Responsaments:

Changinlife zei

Wow! Very informative! I find it ironic considering that I had a conversation with my friends claiming that breath spray would screw with the system.

By the claim it sounds, it does, just not in your favor lol.

Ingönyama zei

i totally agree. its too dramatic

notforeverybody zei

Interesting read... ~following~

Chuck zei

did not know. thanks for the heads up!

T. Roger Thomas zei

Good to keep in mind

Matt Neumann zei

Interesting research! Im following for more great posts!

Anoniem zei

Binaca??? mfw o.O

JuX zei

In Australia. If you say you just had a drink they wait 15 minutes and then test you.

CandleintheDark zei

thats understandable!

skinned sheep zei

thats nuts! so are you talking about the aerosol ones or any kind of spray mouth freshner?

Nicole✗✗ zei

This was very interesting!!

Asty zei

I'd do this, just to troll cops, lol

Patres zei

Yeah but at least they can't really fine or suspend your license for that.. a further blood test would be enough

Goregrindmadness zei

use ur chew gum

Eiriklol2k zei

bloodwork would determ it.
followed ;)

tobiasroehmer zei

nice to read and very interesting thanks

Helyetica zei

good article

mac-and-me zei

lol wow

Patti D. zei

that is insane, thanks for the post.

Ben zei

Good read, :)

consuela bananahammoc zei

I never spray and drive tho ;)

anonyn zei

i never spray but i drive, lol

PenDRaGoN zei

good to know!
now I have an excuse.. heehee

Ranting Lad zei

Very interesting, this will make some great pub conversation. Thanks!

Merlyy zei

I clicked WWTF" and I mean it

Daniella zei


Thank god i dont have to worry about that xD

Hope you get a chance to see my blog :)

Alpha zei

Thanks for the warning.

Chris zei

wow this crazy, i think ill just not drink and drive :P

Midge Mantis zei

Oh, geez! I dodged this bullet for sure...

I'll keep following! follow me at

bipolar bear zei

Never knew that! That's actually quite surprising

DisposedCheese zei

It all goes to say though. Why would you get pulled over and suspected of being drunk. Made to use the breathalyzer if you were driving normal and sober. Ps don't drink mouthwash and drive like your drunk.

~DS zei

hahaha, I think I found my excuse the next time I get pulled over :)

Dan zei

I didn't think that was possible until now. I'm gonna follow to stay updated with tips like these!

John Clipper zei

Interesting blog, I've never drove after drinking as I know 4 lads that were killed by a drink driver. Followed.

TheLanderson27 zei

i agree with disposedcheese, they dont usually just randomly pull people over. You have to be doing something wrong

Pawt zei

As someone who frequently drinks and drives, this was very interesting LOL. Following!

com1c zei

Huh, that's genuinely interesting. Thanks bro.

Miguel zei

I have to agree.. pretty insane!!

tehturtle zei

Nice info, keep up the good work!

Fray32 zei

that was a good read, gj bro, following!

Blair zei

I agree, keep it up, following. Hope you post more :)