Mouthwash DUI Cases

Did you know that many regularly available mouthwashes contain a high quantity of ethanol alcohol? Ethanol alcohol is the same type of alcohol contained in beer, wine, or liquor. It is also called ethyl, or drinking alcohol. For example, Listerine is approximately 54 proof and Scope is approximately 38 proof. This can result in intoxication, and registered alcohol in your system just like after drinking any other alcoholic beverage.

A very significant number of people drink mouthwash in order to ingest the alcohol. Although the strong mint flavorings might cause some stomach distress, often times there are no adverse physical effects (other than the desired intoxication).

Mouthwash may be used when other beverages are not available. Individuals under 21 may resort to drinking mouthwash since they can legally buy it from any store. Also others, especially those with a history of alcohol abuse, may drink mouthwash when they don’t want their friends or family to know that they are drinking. After all, a bottle of mouthwash may look less suspicious than a bottle of vodka.

We have seen many cases, usually involving long-term alcoholics, who have consumed enough mouthwash in order to get a DUI. These cases are just like a regular DUI, except that the Defendant may be truthfully denying consumption of any beer, wine, or liquor.

Mouthwash is also used by people who are trying to mask the smells on their breath. They swish around some mouthwash in the bar parking lot of in the car in the hopes that it will mask the odor of the beer or other drinks that they have had. Police officers are trained that a strong mouthwash odor is a sign of someone trying to cover up their drinking, and it may actually call more attention than a less noticeable alcohol smell. Another common masking agent is a cigarette (police all know to pay attention when someone lights a cigarette as soon as they were pulled over). Because mouthwash contains alcohol, if any of this solution remains in the mouth or trapped in dental work, it can cause an artificially high breathalyzer reading.

If you believe that mouthwash may be a factor in your DUI case you are invited to contact our office for a free initial consultation. During this consultation you will have a chance to tell your story to an experienced attorney and to ask any questions you might have. We’ll also be able to tell you exactly what we can do to help your situation. All consultations are strictly confidential.

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