How does someone cheat on an alcohol test

Tricks for the alcohol test: can you outsmart the alcohol test?

As soon as there are regulations, people tend to look for ways and back doors by which to avoid them. There are also many myths and wisdoms about the police alcohol test in various online forums. Are there really substances that can change the results on the pre-test device or alcohols up or down?

The ÖAMTC club magazine auto touring did some research and invited four people to take part in the alcohol test. This action was accompanied by the Vienna State Police Command, represented by District Inspector Peter Kreuzer, who brought and operated the pre-test device and Alkomat. ÖAMTC physician Heimo Vedernjak accompanied the test as a doctor and professional advisor. The following rumors were checked for their truthfulness.

The disenchantment of the most common alcohols

"Alcohol-filled confectionery is to blame for the high alcohol level." Refuted. Three schnapps chocolates were chewed, then measured with the pre-tester. The alcohol in the mouth and throat caused the value to rise to over three per thousand, and within a few minutes the value fell back to zero. So the excuse does not work with the inspector, because after 15 minutes the measurement is taken again.

"Coffee or energy drinks make you sober." Not at all: "Both drinks stimulate the gastric blood flow and thus the absorption of alcohol. Carbon dioxide even accelerates the process," explains ÖAMTC doctor Vedernjak.

"Mouthwash works against the smell of alcohol." Gross mistake. Rinsing with mouthwash can even be counterproductive. In the ÖAMTC test, the adhesive alcohol caused the test display to shoot up to 3.6 per mille for a short time. "The intense spearmint smell arouses suspicion in any case," says District Inspector Peter Kreuzer, who has been carrying out alcohol tests since 1988 (with alcohol since 1990).

"The hot peppermint candy fails on the pre-test device." Wrong, no effect could be measured.

"Tricks with ice cubes." The pre-test device can actually be influenced by ice-cold breath. In practice, however, it turned out that it was impossible for the test person to put his mouth full of ice cubes, to speak "normally" to the police officer at the same time, and also to "blow the tube" with full force. The ice cubes also caused toothache in one test person.

"Cigarette lowers alcohol levels." Fresh cigarette smoke is only slightly noticeable - if at all - on the pre-test device, the alcohol is completely incorruptible. Since cigarette smoke is harmful to the highly sensitive devices, the police do not carry out any tests directly after the puff from a cigarette, but only after a short break.

Garlic is also said - wrongly - to have a miraculous effect in alcohol tests. "We spared our testers having to check this. The fact is that there is no substance in garlic that could falsify the test result," says the ÖAMTC doctor.

Reason should be the measure of all things

The police may carry out an alcohol test at every inspection, even if there is no suspicion of alcohol consumption. For the time being, the pre-test device is used. If this results in a critical value or if you refuse to take part in the pre-test, a measurement is carried out on the alcohol that can be used in court (in the police station or on site). Measurements are taken twice for each subject at intervals of one to two minutes. The air we breathe is analyzed hundreds of times, and a measurement curve is saved for each measurement process. The two determined curves may differ by a maximum of five percent - only then does the measurement apply. If there are deviations, the measurement continues. If there are too many "incorrect measurements", the police officer could assume that participation in the alcohol test was deliberately refused. Then the test person threatens serious legal and cost-intensive disadvantages.

The measured alcohol level does not necessarily say anything about the actual ability to drive. Experience shows that especially people who do not consume alcohol regularly are already impaired below the legal limit. One tester already felt dizzy after a glass of white wine and would have voluntarily given up driving a car.

In addition to competition, a number of commercially available alcohol test devices were also tried out in the ÖAMTC test. There were some pitfalls here. Rapid alcohol tests (tubes) contain substances that change color after consuming alcohol. The degree of color change can only be clearly seen with good lighting, in a beer pub with dim lighting or in the car this is almost impossible. Small test devices with digital displays are extremely delicate and can only be operated with skill. The partly already tipsy testers were not able to do this without professional instruction. In the end, all devices showed an alcohol content in the breath, but the results were far apart.

So you can only give all drivers one piece of advice: "Who drives, does not drink alcohol. And if you have money to drink, you shouldn't start saving with a taxi," concludes ÖAMTC doctor Vedernjak.

Source: ÖAMTC