Recently a man in Atlanta, Georgia, claimed to have created a product that when sprayed into a person’s mouth like breath freshener it allegedly manipulates, masks, hides, or reduces the breath alcohol in your mouth after drinking, so that if you are pulled over by a police officer on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and asked to blow into an alcosensor (the hand-held device to measure blood alcohol content), the BAC will be below the DUI per se limit of 0.08 grams. While the thought of this might be creative, I would not trust it.
It is true that residual mouth alcohol can cause alcosensors to read high. However, alcosensors not only measure residual alcohol in the mouth. They are designed to also measure the deep air from the lungs. Air drawn from the lungs carries with it the alcohol molecules metabolized by the body and broken down in the blood stream as it passes through the lungs. Nothing a person can spray in their mouths will have an effect on this.
The representative from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) expresses concern for the danger posed by people who have been drinking, become intoxicated, and then are lulled into a false sense of security that they are “sobered up” by using this product. This, however, is not the only problem this product poses. The product is not designed to make a person sober. A person using this product may also be lulled into a false sense of security, assuming that if it actually worked they could not be arrested for DUI. This is not true.
It is not against the law to drive, or otherwise operate a motor vehicle, after you have been drinking alcohol. It is against the law to operate a motor vehicle after you have been drinking if you, not only have a BAC of 0.08 or higher (a per se DUI), but also if you are LESS SAFE to operate your motor vehicle had you had nothing to drink at all. A police officer can, and likely will arrest you for driving under the influence of alcohol to the extent that you are less safe to operate your vehicle even if your BAC is less than 0.08.
Police officers are trained in DUI detection. They focus on many other factors besides a blood alcohol content reading on an alcosensor. They focus on a person’s driving, how a person stops their vehicle, how a person exits their vehicle, how a person interacts with the officer, and how a person performs on field sobriety tests. The breathalyzer is used mainly to confirm what a police officer already suspects.
As a criminal defense lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia for many years, I advise viewing any product promising to potentially prevent an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol, or any other crime, with suspicion and skepticism.