Gum won’t work. Mints won’t work. A man in Australia tried drinking perfume; it didn’t work. While there are a number of reasons a breathalyzer test for DUI might return an inaccurate reading, you can’t change the result by using any of the “tricks” that some people will recommend. One myth that continues to be popular is the “suck on a penny” nonsense. The way this trick is supposed to work, if you start sucking on a penny when you’re pulled over, the breathalyzer will register an outrageously high blood alcohol content (BAC) level, and you’ll be able to claim the breathalyzer device was defective. Don’t try it – in some jurisdictions, you might even face an additional charge for destroying evidence or interfering with an officer’s performance of duties. Instead, if you’re charged with DUI in Orange County, seek legal assistance at once and contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.
Is there any benefit whatever to sucking on a penny? Not at all. In 2003, the Discovery Channel tried the trick on their “Mythbusters” program. Pennies had no effect on breathalyzer results. Air you exhale into a breathalyzer comes from the base of the lungs, and the chemical composition of that air can’t be changed by any item in your mouth. California police officers are required to observe DUI suspects for 15 to 20 minutes before administering a breathalyzer test, just in case the suspect tries something like drinking perfume or sucking on a penny.
Unless you are under 21 or on probation for a previous DUI, you have the right in California to decline – politely – to take any DUI test until you are formally taken into custody. At that time, you’ll have to submit to a test or face an additional legal penalty. If you’re arrested for DUI, insist on a blood test – not a breath test – and then contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney as quickly as possible.