New laws enacted each year mean that more people are required to use a car breathalyzer if convicted of drunk driving. In some states, there is even an administrative restriction that requires a car breathalyzer to be issued by the DMV or state driver’s license agency instead of the courts. The good news is that these devices help save lives each day, and are a proven solution to stopping repeat drunk driving offenses. However, the bad news about car breathalyzers may actually shock you.
A car breathalyzer can still detect non-alcoholic drinks.
Non-alcoholic drinks and beverages are not entirely without alcohol. They are marketed as such for public appeal and as long as that percentage is below the federal guidelines, the drinks are considered harmless. But car breathalyzers are built to sense even the smallest amount of alcohol, which can come from what remains in your mouth after chugging a near beer. If that happens, your car breathalyzer may have a failed test reading, after which you should rinse out your mouth and try again. It is highly unlikely you’ve consumed enough non-alcoholic drinks to have a measurable blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading.
Remember that the same type of alcohol is also present in some medications, and this can cause a test failure. Those medications use alcohol as a preservative. Some, such as cold medications, contain 10 percent alcohol – more than beer and even some wines. Generally it’s not wise to take a test too soon after using these medications.
Drinking non-alcoholic beverages may be one of the better solutions after a DUI, whether or not you have a car breathalyzer requirement. Your body, mind and wallet can surely use the break, and when you finally get past your DUI, you’ll have a new appreciation for yourself and your commitment to responsible driving.