To Avoid a Breathalyzer Mix-up, use an Alcohol-free Mouthwash for Your Bad Breath

So here’s an odd little conundrum: If you’d like to have sweet-smelling breath the next time you’re pulled over, it’s highly advisable that you use mouthwash every day. (After all, you can’t predict when you’ll be stopped by cops, unless you’re planning on speeding.) However, unless you use an alcohol-free mouthwash, there is a chance that your anti-halitosis regimen can land you a DUI charge.

This is true no matter what country you live in, as evidenced by a recent article in the Hong Kong Standard. The piece pointed out that in India, the odds of this happening are especially tilted, since police officers there often use their noses to diagnose drunkenness, rather than utilizing a breathalyzer.

Why would Indian cops use their sniffers instead of a finely calibrated machine?  “If we start checking each of them with sensors, it will lead to traffic snarls on the road,” one officer explained to the news source.

Still, even in the U.S., where breathalyzers set the standard for DUI evidence collection, any driver who doesn’t use a specialty, alcohol-free mouthwash runs the risk, however slight, of getting hauled in for boozing that they didn’t have the pleasure of actually experiencing.

The ability of alcohol-based mouthwashes to register on a breathalyzer is no myth. Studies in journals like the aptly titled Alcohol and Alcoholism show that recent use of an alcohol-based mouthrinse can easily mimic a blood-alcohol content above 0.08.

This is because, as you might expect, most common mouthwashes are brimming with alcohol. According to the myth-exploring newspaper column The Straight Dope, some of the most popular mouthwashes for halitosis contain about 27 percent alcohol by volume. This means that taking a breath test shortly after using such a product will make it seem as though you’ve just taken a shot of a very stiff drink.

Adding to this problem is the simple fact that alcohol-based mouthwashes are everywhere. According to our very own Dr. Katz, at least 99 percent of mouthwash formulas contain alcohol!

This puts TheraBreath’s alcohol-free mouthwash in the very slender 1 percent of specialty rinses that skirt alcohol breath and resolve your halitosis without running the risk of landing you in a crowded drunk tank.

The lesson here is simple. If you want to eliminate your bad breath without running the risk of earning a wrongful DUI, TheraBreath’s alcohol-free mouthwash is right for you.

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