Five Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Urban Legends Debunked
There are as many false assumptions about driving under the influence (DUI) as any other urban lore. Let’s look at a few of the more popular ones.
Urban Legend #1: Sucking on a copper object, such as a penny, lessens a blood alcohol content reading.
Reality: This is a curiously popular legend, but it is absolutely untrue. Sucking on a penny (or any other change), or placing a penny under your tongue, can not trick a breathalyzer machine into a false or lower BAC. By the way, today’s pennies do not have a high copper content; in fact, they have been made of 97.5% zinc since the 1980s.
Reality: Strong foods — such as chilis, mints, onions — can certainly mask the odor of alcohol on your breath, but they do zero to make the alcohol content disappear.
Urban Legend #3: The results of breathalyzer tests are accurate.
Reality: If you’ve been reading my other blog posts, I’ve explained why this is not true. But let’s review a few reasons here:
- Breath test machines are notoriously unreliable
- The operators are certified by their co-workers (lack of objectively, anyone?)
- They not only identify ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, found in alcohol cocktails, but other substances similar in molecular structure.
- Material or residue in the environment–such as compounds found in paint removers, dirt, even electrical signals — can also lead to false BAC readings.
Urban Legend #4: Eating a pound of butter, or consuming a greasy meal before drinking, will lower your alcohol content.
Reality: This particular urban legend is partially true because the consumption of a large amount of fatty foods will line the stomach and intestines, thereby slowing alcohol absorption. However, these fatty foods will not stop the alcohol from getting into your system, so don’t bulk up on butter or fat thinking you’ll trick a breathalyzer test.
Urban Legend #5: Eating your underpants.
Reality: Yes, you read that right. People have actually thought that consuming their shorts would draw the alcohol out of their stomach, an incredibly bad idea in colder regions where people where longer underwear regularly. Remember that alcohol isn’t absorbed as much in the stomach as it in the intestinal tract. Snopes.com has some entertaining real-life cases about people who attempt jockey munching to foil a breathalyzer test (“Take My Breath Away” at Snopes.com).
Colorado DUI-DWAI attorney Shaun Kaufman regularly works to research the most effective, scientific methods for defending DUI and DWAI cases. Call Shaun Kaufman Law any time of the day or night, 24 hours a day, at 303-309-0430 or fill out the contact form on the right side of this screen.
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