Ignition interlock devices and mouthwash
My unit is saying there is alcohol in my system but all I did was use mouthwash. Ignition interlock devices use fuel cell technology to detect alcohol on your breath. While these devices are supposed to detect if you have been drinking alcohol, there are certain things that can set them off, even if you have not been drinking. Anything with alcohol content can be detected by the ignition interlock device. That means your ignition interlock device could potentially detect mouthwash, perfume, cologne, after-shave, or hairspray. In the event you register a false positive because of mouthwash, your best course of action is to wait until the ignition interlock device allows you to test again, and then retest, and not get a positive test result.
It is especially likely that your ignition interlock device would detect mouthwash because the alcohol from the mouthwash is on your breath. Also, many of the mouthwash products contain up to 30% alcohol, that’s the equivalent of some vodkas, whiskeys and rums, so you can understand why the ignition interlock device might confuse it for an actual alcoholic drink. It is strongly encouraged that you use alcohol free mouthwash while you have the ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. If you prefer to continue using mouthwash that contains alcohol there are a few precautions for you to take.
The alcohol in mouthwash begins to dissipate within 15 minutes, and if you rinse your mouth with water it will go even faster, as the water will help rinse the alcohol out of your mouth, which is what the ignition interlock device is reading. We recommend that every user of an ignition interlock device rinse his or her mouth with water before every test they submit through the ignition interlock device. This will not necessarily conceal the use of alcohol but it will help get the most realistic test result on the ignition interlock device.
As the registered user of the ignition interlock device you will be responsible for every test result that is registered on your device. In the event that a false positive is registered because you had used mouthwash, or for any other reason it may affect your driving privileges. When it is available you should breathe into the ignition interlock device again, and hopefully it registers a .00. If this happens, it will likely be determined that it was a false positive. However, if you breathe into the ignition interlock device again and it still reads as alcohol on your breath, you may be in trouble.
Your safest way to avoid a false positive from mouthwash on your ignition interlock device is to use non-alcohol mouthwash for the time being. It’s best for you to avoid any and all issues with your ignition interlock device because your driving privileges depend on it. If you decide to keep using mouthwash with alcohol just be sure you are not using the mouthwash near the time you will need to breathe into your ignition interlock device, or wait at least 15 minutes to breathe into the ignition interlock device.