Is it possible to cheat the breathalyzer

During the operation of the vehicle, a situation may arise when the police, after stopping the driver, asks for a blood alcohol test. For this process, law enforcement agencies use a portable and accurate device with instant output. The consequences for driving while intoxicated are very serious, so drivers often think about how to cheat the breathalyzer. This dilemma is always relevant, because the overall outcome depends entirely on the obtained data of the device. Owning specific information about the alcohol meter and the factors influencing the results, it is possible to realistically evaluate the test readings.


  • 1 What is a breathalyzer and how it works
  • 2 The process of using the device
  • 3 Acceptable norms
  • 4 Credibility of the study
  • 5 What influences the test result
  • 6 Myths about cheating breathalyzer

What is a breathalyzer and how does it work

Breathalyzer is a device designed to check the level of alcohol concentration in the driver’s blood. The device provides a convenient and simple way to measure this indicator.

Driver check for sobriety

To understand the question whether it is possible to cheat the breathalyzer, it is necessary to begin to understand the process and extent of the effects of alcohol on the human body. When drinking alcohol, alcohol is not absorbed and does not change its chemical structure in the bloodstream. Once in the lungs, alcohol passes through the membranes of the air sacs and partially evaporates from the liquid. The alcohol level can be determined by measuring the amount of alcohol in the exhaled air, adhering to a ratio of 2100: 1. This proportion says that 2100 ml of the air obtained from the lungs and 1 ml of blood contain the same amount of alcohol.

The process of using the device

The mechanism of the breathalyzer is as follows:

  1. Obtaining breathing patterns. The driver provides a breath sample through a disposable mouthpiece into the breathalyzer, blowing air.
  2. Calculation of alcohol concentration. The device measures the amount of alcohol in your breath.
  3. Getting the final results. At the last stage, the breathalyzer converts the data and displays the degree of alcohol concentration according to the established formula.

Allowable rates

In foreign countries, the permissible values ​​of ppm began to operate a long time ago, despite the fact that in Russia the norm of 0.5 per thousand was first established only in 2003. Today, in our state, the law permits the presence of alcohol in the blood of a person driving a car to 0.16 ppm. At the same time, the Vienna International Convention defines this indicator at the level of 0.8 per thousand.

Penalties for driving while intoxicated

Penalties for driving while intoxicated

Credibility of the study

Breathalyzer is able to reliably determine the alcohol content and its concentration in the breath sample. And yet, the accuracy of the results obtained may differ significantly, which forces one to think about the permissible error of the device. Alcohol testers have modifications intended for professional or personal use. High-quality instruments have a high level of sensitivity and accuracy of the data obtained, since advanced sensors are used in their production. After a certain period, which is recorded in the technical passport, all devices must be calibrated.

What influences the test result

There are several main aspects that affect the readings of the breathalyzer. After studying these features, it is possible to avoid excessive test results and thereby protect yourself from legal troubles. Reduce the readings of the device can, if carried out a study at least 20 minutes after drinking alcohol. The alcohol in the mouth has a greater concentration than air samples from the lungs. It should be understood that the breathalyzer is a mechanism that can change the accuracy of data under the influence of external factors.

See also: What are the most reliable cars

The following aspects influence the accuracy of the breathalyzer:

  1. Body temperature. The formula for determining the level of alcohol in the blood is optimal only when the body temperature is 36.6 ° C. The actual alcohol content will be reevaluated if the temperature rises as the volatility of the substance increases. The increase in body temperature by 1 ° C contributes to an increase in the result by 7%, since the amount of evaporated alcohol in the lungs is artificially increased. Therefore, it is necessary to be extremely cautious, drinking alcohol with the flu or cold.
  2. Foreign matter Different alcohol-containing substances in the oral cavity can lead to incorrect readings of the breathalyzer. They emit significantly more alcohol vapors than air from the lungs.
  3. Features of the cellular structure of blood. The blood contains a measured amount of cells and proteins, and the rest is filled with fluid. The established ratio of 2100: 1 suggests that the cell volume is 47%. In a person with a reduced cell volume, the blood alcohol level will be falsely elevated. The fact is that alcohol is dissolved in a larger amount of liquid and, accordingly, has a lower concentration.
  4. Calibration regularity. The device must be periodically calibrated to maintain high accuracy of the results. Typically, this procedure is performed by the manufacturer after every 200 tests. If necessary, the calibration cylinder can be replaced.
  5. Human factor. With its many advantages and ease of use, the alcohol meter requires the skill and skill of quality application and attention to detail.

    How much alcohol is removed from the body

    How long does it take to remove alcohol from the human body

  6. Software crashes. On breathalyzers installed special software, which, like any operating system, is subject to random errors and malfunctions.
  7. Influence of the environment. Incorrect readings can be caused by various chemicals (for example, glue and plastic), varnish or paint fumes in close proximity to the instrument.
  8. Ambient temperature The device is very sensitive to external temperature conditions. If it is not properly configured to work in appropriate weather conditions, the data obtained will be false.
  9. Previous use. Through a series of experiments, it was possible to prove that the breathalyzer is capable of storing a small portion of the data from the previous study. Such a figure is quite enough to exceed the threshold established by law.
  10. Physiological component. Improving the results of the test of alcohol meters can be caused by the physiological characteristics of a person. Some people (for example, patients suffering from diabetes or those who follow a strict diet) in their breathing may contain a certain amount of acetone, which tends to overestimate the instrument.

Myths about cheating Alcotester

Among motorists there are a large number of stories and legends about how to cheat the breathalyzer. Many of them are just myths that in practice will not be able to reduce the readings of the device.

Here are some of them:

  • Sucking copecks. A long-time statement says that sucking coins helps reduce the amount of alcohol during the test, since copper in a special way eliminates the alcohol content. In fact, copper does not affect this process at all, and pennies are made from nickel, which also does not change the data;
  • Drinking and eating. Many people believe that jamming alcohol with large portions of food can significantly affect the readings of the breathalyzer. A similar statement applies to the use of soda or coffee, which due to caffeine should sober the driver. Such actions may reduce the physical impact of alcohol or make the motorist visually sober, however, they are not able to change the concentration of alcohol;
  • Harmless alcoholic beverages. It is considered that some types of alcoholic beverages do not affect the test results. Such a statement is wrong. Breathalyzer does not distinguish between vodka, brandy, rum or other beverages. It works on the detection of alcohol and absolutely does not matter what exactly you used;
  • The special properties of aerosols and mouthwashes. Many believe that if the breath smells like mint, the device will not be able to detect alcohol. It is not true. Chewing gum, liquids and aerosols mask the smell, but do not reduce the alcohol content. To determine the alcohol concentration, the breathalyzer performs chemical reactions that are completely unaffected by the liquid. Such substances can only increase the performance of the test, since they contain alcohol;How to cheat breathalyzer
  • Belching. The idea is that the gas thus obtained from the stomach contains less alcohol than the air from the lungs. It sounds very interesting, however, in practice belching gives identical or even increased test results;
  • Respiratory retention or hyperventilation. Thanks to the conducted research, it was possible to prove the special influence of energy exercises and hyperventilation, which really reduce the final results by 10%. But holding the breath on the contrary increases the testimony of the breathalyzer by 20%. All the more breath in the mouth in the presence of law enforcement officers will be suspicious and frivolous behavior;
  • The use of batteries. Some breathalyzers use electrical current to measure alcohol in the blood. Based on this, drivers began to argue that by placing a battery in your mouth you can change the test results. In fact, this method does not affect the readings at all. In addition, the battery is difficult to hold in your mouth when talking to a police officer;
  • Deception methods. Given the principle of action, you can still apply some techniques that are able to deceive the breathalyzer. The easiest method is to intermittently blow air into the tube. Alcohol gas will mix with fresh air and help reduce the dough.

In any case, the most reliable ways to influence the breathalyzer are:

  • Take alcoholic beverages within the limits prescribed by law;
  • Sober up well after drinking alcohol.

So is it possible to cheat the breathalyzer? Those who are still sure of this are deeply mistaken. Breathalyzer is designed not only to determine the concentration of alcohol in the blood, but also to help drivers adhere to the established rules for their own safety. Calculation of indications is carried out through a chemical reaction, so simply removing the smell, change the results do not work. The best option in this situation is to sober up well or not drink at all.