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Attorney Christopher T. Adams

Trusted Attorney Providing Knowledgeable And Dedicated Representation

Can sucking on a penny or mint help you beat a breath test?

The state needs evidence to pursue criminal charges against someone. Chemical evidence can play a major role in the state’s case in some situations, including for those accused of driving under the influence (DUI) offenses.

During a Georgia DUI traffic stop, police officers typically ask to perform a chemical breath test. That test can provide a reading on someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Proof that someone was over the legal limit can be enough to prosecute them even if they drove like normal before the traffic stop.

Breath tests can fail

Chemical breath tests are unreliable at best, but police officers and courts still depend on them in many impaired driving cases. It is possible for the unit to return false positives or inflated BAC readings. People share tricks and tips about how to pass a breathalyzer test if someone is nervous that they may have had too much to drink. Some people claim that sucking on pennies can alter the test results. Others insist that certain types of breath mints can change test results. Is there any truth to this urban legend?

No, breath test hacks do not actually work

Unfortunately for those counting on a last-minute hack to avoid arrest, neither breath mints nor pennies cause any significant change to someone’s chemical state. They therefore have no impact on breath test results. If anything, police officers may become more suspicious of people that they notice sucking on mints or pennies because of how widespread these urban legends have become. While there is no way to trick a test into giving a lower reading, there are ways to fight against readings that seem inaccurately high.

Challenging breath test results is one of many possible defense strategies for drivers accused of impairment at the wheel. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to get started.


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