In most cases, officers must have reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle. Reasonable suspicion, though, is a comparatively low legal threshold. If you are driving with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit, reasonable suspicion may come from swerving, driving too fast or too slow or otherwise behaving strangely.
Before officers arrest you, though, they must have probable cause to believe you have committed some offense. Failing a breath test gives them that probable cause. Unfortunately, despite what you may have heard, it is virtually impossible to trick a breath test. Here are three common myths you should not believe.
1. Sucking on a penny
Some individuals erroneously believe the copper in pennies can fool alcohol breath tests. While this may have been marginally true in the 1970s, it definitely no longer is the case. Even worse, while sucking on a penny has no effect on your breath test, it can make you sick. Indeed, according to recent reporting from Insider, most circulated coins have bacteria, viruses and other germs on them.
2. Popping a breath mint
While there is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to have fresh breath, popping a mint cannot help you beat a breath test. This is because breath tests do not measure the alcohol in your mouth, but rather check your blood alcohol concentration.
3. Changing your breathing
Because breath tests require a breath sample, it may make sense that changing your breathing patterns could alter the test’s results. Like with the other myths on this list, this is not true either. Hyperventilating and holding your breath are much more likely to make you look silly than to interfere with the test.
Ultimately, rather than trying to trick a breath test using a technique that has no chance of working, it is a better idea to exercise all your legal rights during a roadside stop.