Avoid the Voodoo

A DrinkingAndDriving.Org Lesson

Myths and Urban Legends on drinking and beating a DUI

hand sticking pin into voodoo doll

We have all seen in the movies someone being thrown in a shower to sober up. It's usually followed by a hot cup of coffee. Well, only in the movies! Cold showers, coffee, getting some fresh air have absolutely no affect on getting someone sober. How about eating a large meal before drinking, to "soak up" the extra alcohol? NOT! Maybe you will gain a few pounds but otherwise this only DELAYS the alcohol being absorbed. Also, the weight, metabolism and gender can determine how drinking alcohol will affect someone.

How about the Secret Ways for "beating a DUI"? People talk about them in bars and claim to have 'read it on the internets'. They are all very interesting, sometimes even whacky, and it makes us wonder how some of these myths started.

Below are some of the tricks people have tried to beat a Breathalyzer test. Police use a Breathalyzer to determine the blood alcohol content or BAC of a person. This is the concentration of alcohol in the blood. Usually measured as mass per volume. None of these work and mouthwash or breath spray could actually make your test show a higher amount of alcohol. It's just not worth it! So if you are going to drink do not think you can fool anyone with these types of Voodoo!!

Suck on a Penny or a Nickel

a roll of pennies and a roll of nickels

Didn't your mother ever tell you not to put money in your mouth? Where has it been? Would you pick up a penny from a public restroom floor and put it in your mouth? And besides, wouldn't the police notice??? Oh yeah, does it work? No!

Mouthwash or Breath Spray

shotglass of mouthwash

You can clean your mouth, but your breath comes from your lungs. And minty smells are nice, but they don't fool the police or their equipment. Maybe you are thinking that you could use mouthwash that contains alcohol, and then claim a faulty BAC reading to avoid DUI charges. So, when are you going to avoid those charges? After somebody comes to bail you out? If you blow a .08 or higher, you are not driving the rest of the way home. Oh, then you've probably got to get your car out of the impound yard which means towing and storage charges. So maybe after that, if you can still afford a lawyer...

Eat an Onion or Garlic

cloves of garlic

Forget the onion. You will just be stinky and red-eyed. Garlic will keep vampires away, but not the cops. While there is some evidence that eating a bunch of fresh garlic sometimes gives you lower results in a breathalyzer test, cops know this and will smell the garlic. Unlike vampires, they are not afraid of garlic.

Eat (yes, eat) Chewing Tobacco


It's gross, probably carcinogenic, and will not affect the alcohol in your bloodstream. But if you'd like to try it and you don't have any chewing tobacco, try looking for a spittoon.

Eat Curry Powder

spices including curry powder

It does nothing. You may as well eat an onion. In fact, put some curry on an onion and offer some to the cop tapping on your window.

Eat Underwear

male underwear model

If you are to the point where you are actually considering this one, you have a far greater problem than drunk driving.

And our Pick for the Worst Advice Possible: Refuse the Breathalyzer Test!

cop in the side-view mirror

Refusing a breathalyzer test will actually get you in more trouble! It's like telling the cop, "Not only am I guilty of drunk driving, but I'm also not going to cooperate. So cuff me now." Refusal may even be a separate crime itself depending on where you live. At the very least, refusal will add stiffer penalties and probably thousands of dollars to the cost of your defense.

Face It

There are a lot of stories out there about how to beat a DUI. We'll be blunt. Almost all of them are wrong.

Some ideas involve trying to circumvent the law by not cooperating with law enforcement. This is the exact opposite of what you should always be doing anyway.

Other ideas involve doing WEIRD things to lower your BAC.

When you've been drinking, there is only one way to beat a breathalyzer test. That is to WAIT WAIT WAIT until the alcohol wears off before driving!

Anything else that anyone tells you is just Voodoo!


Please help support the efforts of DrinkingAndDriving.Org