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
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