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Thread: Careful with cold drugs and Listerine.

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    Brown67's Avatar
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    Default Careful with cold drugs and Listerine.

    Watch what you take and don't get a DUI. Just read about a UPS driver who got a DUI while driving his own car. Wasn't fire but had to do random checks. Company made a check one morning and caught him with a blood alcohol rate of .03. He had been drinking the night before and used listerine in the morning. I never realized listerine could make you show a high blood alcohol rate. Also, you can still show residual blood alcohol after a nights sleep. Read more at:

    http://www.browncafe.com/forum/ups_d...p_trouble.html


    Listerine 'Martini?'
    Facts vs. fiction about drunk driving.
    By Jeff McConnell and James Mennella, Attorneys At Law



    Don't laugh just yet. We've had a lot of drivers over the years call in from a pay phone, crying, wondering why they've just been issued a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) ticket even though they don't drink alcohol. What happened? How can you get a ticket for DUI when you don't drink?

    This article tells you about a very serious problem that can end your career as a commercial driver: a DUI conviction involving your truck or your personal vehicle. Take a close look at the items you've got in your truck right now. What's in your suitcase? Mouthwash, cold medicine, allergy pills, prescription drugs? Did you know that most mouthwashes contain alcohol? That some cough and cold medicines contain huge doses of alcohol? How long does alcohol stay in your system? How much alcohol do you have to have before you can (legally) get a ticket for DUI?

    We hope the following information will help answer these questions. Here's the truth.



    Question: About a week ago, I woke up feeling like I was coming down with the flu so I took some liquid cough and cold medicine to see if I could beat this one. About an hour later, I pulled into a scale house and the officer asked me to take breathalyzer test. I told him that I didn't drink and took the test anyway. The breathalyzer read .045 and the officer gave me a DUI ticket! What now?

    Answer: The good news is you didn't refuse to take the breathalyzer test. Never refuse to take a breathalyzer. Refusing a breathalyzer test is an automatic suspension of your CDL. The bad news is you're holding a DUI ticket with your name on it and now you're "in the system." So here you are. You've just got a DUI ticket. Your license to drive (at least in the state where you got the ticket) is now suspended. You have to get an attorney. You have to schedule a hearing at the local DMV. You have to plead "not guilty" at the local court. You have to stay up nights worrying about being convicted and losing your CDL for at least a year.

    All of this could have been avoided if you had taken a few minutes to go through your duffel bag, read your labels and thrown away anything with large amounts of alcohol in it. Get it out of the truck. The legal limit for commercial DUI is .04. That's not hard to get to, especially when you're using a mouthwash that's over 20% alcohol.



    Question: I had been out the night before for dinner and drinking with some friends. I got a good night's sleep, got up early the next morning and was asked to take a breathalyzer when I stopped at the port of entry. I blew a .04 and got a DUI ticket. Why was my BAC (blood alcohol content) still so high?

    Answer: "Residual Alcohol." This is the number-one problem we see. Residual or "left over" alcohol in your system will get you out of the truck faster than anything we know. If you're going to drink, remember that it takes your body a certain amount of time to process and get rid of alcohol. Depending on when you stopped drinking and your particular body, it's possible to still have a BAC hours later that could end up in a DUI charge.



    Question: A friend told me that if an officer asks me to take a breathalyzer test I should refuse it so there's no evidence to use against me later. Should I refuse?

    Answer: No. don't refuse a breathalyzer test. If you refuse a breathalyzer test, your license will automatically be suspended even if you're found "not guilty" at trial. Also, when you refuse a breathalyzer, your attorney is going to have an even harder time convincing the prosecuting attorney to agree to a plea bargain. Don't tie your attorney's hands before he/she gets started. Take the breathalyzer.



    Question: I got a DUI in my personal car and my company terminated my lease. Why does my company care what I do on my time off?

    Answer: What you have to remember is that you only have one MVR and any tickets, whether in your personal car or commercial truck, will show up on a single record. Your MVR determines what insurance rates you get. Bad MVR = Bad Rates. If your company is carrying your liability insurance, they'll want your MVR as clean as possible so their rates remain reasonable.



    We hope you can use the information in this column to help with everyday, real life problems you face on the road. We invite you to send us any questions or comments you may have regarding transportation law to ROAD LAW, 1330 N. Classen Blvd., Suite 215, Oklahoma City, OK 73106; fax to (405) 272-0558 or contact us through our website at www.roadlaw.net. We look forward to hearing from you.

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    Uturn2001 is offline Senior Board Member
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    A person needs to be careful what they take for colds and other products they use that contain alcohol.

    Many couch syrups and several brands of liquid cold medicines have an alcohol base to them, and if you take enough can cause you to fail a brethalizer test. Also as mentioned above, some brands of mouthwash have a high content as well.


    Question: I got a DUI in my personal car and my company terminated my lease. Why does my company care what I do on my time off?

    Answer: What you have to remember is that you only have one MVR and any tickets, whether in your personal car or commercial truck, will show up on a single record. Your MVR determines what insurance rates you get. Bad MVR = Bad Rates. If your company is carrying your liability insurance, they'll want your MVR as clean as possible so their rates remain reasonable.
    This is only a partial answer. More to the point, how can a company know for certain that you will not drink and drive in a CMV if you have proven that you will do it another type of vehicle. If you have a recent conviction for DUI and the company continues to allow you to work for them they are facing a huge liability issue should you get into an accident.
    Finding the right trucking company is like finding the right person to marry. I really comes down to finding one whose BS you can put up with and who can put up wih yours.

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    thriver is offline Member
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    I'm curious as to why a breathalyzer or blood test would even be issued for someone who hadn't been drinking "real" alcohol. In the scale house example, do you know if the DOT man smelled something on his breath or was it completely random. Guess I didn't realize they did that sort of thing.
    when life hands you lemons....hey, free lemons!

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    CaliTrucker's Avatar
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    I can understand things like cough syrup staying with you for awhile causing you to fail a breathalyzer, but Mouthwash? Being that most people don't swallow things like listerine, would it still show up on a breath test or even a blood test?

    I can see an officer getting a positive breathalyzer test right after using the mouthwash, but how long would it actually stick with you? just wondering because I have used listerine in the past, but if it's going to get me busted for DUI I'll use something else :shock:

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    Brown67's Avatar
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    That's what I thought. No more listerine or any other product that has alcohol in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaliTrucker
    I can understand things like cough syrup staying with you for awhile causing you to fail a breathalyzer, but Mouthwash? Being that most people don't swallow things like listerine, would it still show up on a breath test or even a blood test?

    I can see an officer getting a positive breathalyzer test right after using the mouthwash, but how long would it actually stick with you? just wondering because I have used listerine in the past, but if it's going to get me busted for DUI I'll use something else :shock:
    I knew a Guy back in the 70's-early 80's, who would drink his booze with a spoon. Reason he did it that way, was to get the "drunk effect" faster, and to do it on the cheap. He didn't make a lot of money and loved being tanked.

    Now...How does "drinking with a spoon" get you drunk faster? Your tounge absorbs 75% of the alcohol. So...You grab up that bottle of Listerine in the morning, pull off the cap and take a nice big swig, straight out of the bottle...work it back and forth for 45 seconds or so....presto chango...you have a high BAC. Get into a "Chicken Coop" first thing...and what does a smart cop smell? Doesn't matter if the cop knows it's only mouth wash...what Officer Intelligent knows...it's a "ticketable" offense...and he just popped you.
    Space...............Is disease and danger, wrapped in darkness and silence! :thumbsup: Star Trek2009

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    dtryanxpress is offline Member
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    sometimes i drink overnight and wake up feeling drunk but maybe thats just a hangover? ops:
    chili fries w/ranch

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    Now...How does "drinking with a spoon" get you drunk faster? Your tounge absorbs 75% of the alcohol. So...You grab up that bottle of Listerine in the morning, pull off the cap and take a nice big swig, straight out of the bottle...work it back and forth for 45 seconds or so....presto chango...you have a high BAC. Get into a "Chicken Coop" first thing...and what does a smart cop smell? Doesn't matter if the cop knows it's only mouth wash...what Officer Intelligent knows...it's a "ticketable" offense...and he just popped you.
    That makes sense...I didn't know about the tongue absorbing most of the alcohol. I guess I definitely need to pay more attention when I get another bottle of mouthwash :shock:

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    geomon is offline Senior Board Member
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    I found this on Listerine....of course bear in mind this is the internet and the article is not a scientific peer reviewed article.

    Dear cecil, can you actually get drunk on mouthwash, vanilla extract etc etc. thanx dude --

    Cecil replies:

    Listerine abuse has got to be the stupidest form of private amusement since . . . well, I was about to say since biblical knowledge of the Hoover Dustette (see penis, surgical repair of wounds to), but on reflection I have to say intravenous lettuce injection, recently discussed in this space, is also up there. Anyway, to answer your collective questions briefly, no, denaturing of alcohol, special or otherwise, does not render it incapable of causing intoxication, and yes, you can get pretty hammered if you drink enough, although why anyone of legal drinking age would want to do so is a question that defies linear thought.

    Many mouthwashes contain alcohol--original formula Listerine is 26.9 percent alcohol, making it approximately 54 proof (other flavors contain less). Denatured makes it sound like they take out of alcohol whatever's normally in it that gets you drunk, but in fact all they do is put other stuff in to make it undrinkable (except by the truly desperate) and in some cases poisonous. Why denature, you ask? Because the potable natural version is subject to federal excise tax, whereas the denatured kind isn't. "Completely denatured alcohol" is virtually impossible to render into a drinkable beverage--it may contain kerosene, among other things. "Specially denatured alcohol" such as that used in Listerine receives less radical treatment, although some SDA formulas do contain methyl (wood) alcohol, which if ingested often or copiously enough can cause blindness, organ damage, and death.

    Listerine presumably is free of such toxins (which is not to say it's entirely safe, a matter we'll return to), though its manufacturer, Pfizer, declined to confirm exactly what form of SDA it does contain. However, my consultant Bibliophage, a resourceful fellow, deduces that Pfizer uses SDA formula 38-B as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations, since said formula is the only one listed that may include eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate, and thymol, all of which are named as active ingredients on the Listerine label. Impress your buddies in the Dumpster with that.

    Which brings up another issue: Why would anybody drink this stuff when a couple bucks will get you a bottle of Thunderbird or Wild Irish Rose and let you vaporize brain cells in style? The only remotely plausible explanations I've heard are that (a) while the clerks keep a close eye on the booze aisle, boosting Listerine is, comparatively speaking, cake; (b) some states restrict alcohol sales on Sundays or at other specified times; and (c) mouthwash is easier to sneak into the shelter, hospital, etc. Evidence on the last point comes to us from the Journal of Emergency Medicine, which tells of a 55-year-old woman treated in the ER for acute alcohol intoxication. Puzzled that her blood ethanol level remained high, medical personnel established that when searched she'd been allowed to keep a bottle of Listerine on the grounds that it was a personal hygiene product. This she had been surreptitiously imbibing. ER medics have a term for the alcohol contained in such unorthodox inebriants: NBE, or nonbeverage ethanol. Besides mouthwash, NBE sources include hair spray, cosmetics, some cough and cold remedies (e.g. NyQuil), aftershave and other personal care products, and, yes, vanilla extract.

    Whatever gets you through the night. But let's be practical. First, while mouthwash is perhaps less apt to corrode your internal organs than, say, brake fluid (or paint thinner, or shoe polish dripped through stale bread), carrot juice it ain't. Turning to the journals again, we read of one fellow who died after drinking three liters of Listerine; if mouthwash is quaffed in keg-size quantities, the authors conclude, the "phenolic compounds" it contains (eucalyptol, menthol, and thymol) "may contribute to a severe anion-gap metabolic acidosis and osmolar gap, multiorgan system failure, and death." Still on the fence? I found some no-name, plastic-bottle, one-notch-above-Prestone 80-proof vodka on sale at the supermarket for $9.99 per 1.75 liters, or 1.4 cents per milliliter of alcohol. A one-liter bottle of Listerine original can be had for $5.19, or 1.9 cents per milliliter of alcohol. So, Dwayne, if you're chugging mouthwash thinking, OK, it's not Remy Martin, but at least I'm saving money for grad school--sorry, dude, think again.

    --CECIL ADAMS

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    dtryanxpress is offline Member
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    doesnt chewing gum now have alcohol? wtf! :shock:
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtryanxpress
    doesnt chewing gum now have alcohol? wtf! :shock:
    I've wondered about this too. I chew gum between meals because I'm too sorry to brush my teeth more than once a day, and it helps keep my dentist happy. I can't stand gums with any aspartame at all, and I can only tolerate a minimal amount of sucralose. The only formulation I can tolerate is Trident Cinnamon, and it gets most of its sweetness from Xylitol.

    It's not ethanol, but I don't know if it counts as "alcohol" or not. Would it affect a breathalyzer? Could it intoxicate me in some way? Damn, I sure hope not.

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    Truckfam is offline Member
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    Ok, then ditch the Listerine, and get a non-alcohol mouthwash. Actually I have a bottle of Crest non-alcohol mouthwash here at home. I don't like the alcohol type taste Listerine gives.

    I bought it at walmart, and it had non-alcohol plastered all over the front in big letters.

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    Ok, then ditch the Listerine, and get a non-alcohol mouthwash. Actually I have a bottle of Crest non-alcohol mouthwash here at home. I don't like the alcohol type taste Listerine gives.

    I bought it at walmart, and it had non-alcohol plastered all over the front in big letters.
    Just what I need to do...never realized there was even a chance at the consequences listerine could bring. :roll: :shock:

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    Firefishe is offline Rookie
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    Default Bad Laws Need Repealing

    I can understand someone who gets tanked, then drives, then gets a DUI for what is an overtly obvious infraction.

    However, I can not see anything more ridiculous than what might be termed a "mouthwash drunk!"

    A DUI just for having mouthwash alcohol on your breath? This is just asanine!

    I think it's time we demanded more accurate standards. Breath-level testing equipment has been around for a long time now and is reasonably accurate. But why not be able to tell the different types of alcohol and pass legislation that will allow for mollification of a person who has recently used mouthwash?

    Common Sense needs to be re-inserted into the legislative equation in this and other industries.

    Mouthwash use does not equal a person being drunk and should not be allowed to be used for the purpose of DUI ticket issuance, period!

    Warm regards,
    Firefishe

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    CaliTrucker's Avatar
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    A DUI just for having mouthwash alcohol on your breath? This is just asanine!
    I agree completely, but it's just one more thing that some LEO on a power trip would love to nail someone for, because all he cares about is the number that comes up on the breathalyzer test. :roll:

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    Yanke_driver is offline Board Regular
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    I remember about 16 years ago when I was in drivers education class, we had a city cop come in to give a presentation and he brought the breathalyser machine with him. He had one of the students gargle with mouthwash and blow into the machine. Right after he gargled and blew, he blew something like 15 times over the legal limit. he had him blow again after 1/2 hr and then again after an hour and he still blew like 4 times over the legal limit. Now, for a cop not to discern between somebody whos plastered and someone who just brushed and gargled is plain crazy! But keep in mind to look for that non-alcholic rince next time your at Wally world.

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    Hat Rak is offline Board Regular
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    From: http://www.dot.gov/ost/dapc/NEW_DOCS/part40.html?proc

    Subpart M - Alcohol Confirmation Tests
    40.251 What are the first steps in an alcohol confirmation test?
    As the BAT for an alcohol confirmation test, you must follow these steps to begin the confirmation test process:
    (a) You must carry out a requirement for a waiting period before the confirmation test, by taking the following steps:
    (1) You must ensure that the waiting period lasts at least 15 minutes, starting with the completion of the screening test. After the waiting period has elapsed, you should begin the confirmation test as soon as possible, but not more than 30 minutes after the completion of the screening test.
    (i) If the confirmation test is taking place at a different location from the screening test (see 40.247(b)(3)) the time of transit between sites counts toward the waiting period if the STT or BAT who conducted the screening test provided the waiting period instructions.
    (ii) If you cannot verify, through review of the ATF, that waiting period instructions were provided, then you must carry out the waiting period requirement.
    (iii) You or another BAT or STT, or an employer representative, must observe the employee during the waiting period.
    (2) Concerning the waiting period, you must tell the employee:
    (i) Not to eat, drink, put anything (e.g., cigarette, chewing gum) into his or her mouth, or belch;
    (ii) The reason for the waiting period (i.e., to prevent an accumulation of mouth alcohol from leading to an artificially high reading);

    Annnnd from: http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=108678

    Interesting question! I just had a conversation with my brother-in-law
    the police officer, who was telling me that Listerine breath strips
    do, indeed, cause a false positive if taken just before a test.
    (During his training, some officers were asked to put some strips in
    their mouth and then take a breath-alcohol test...The results were
    positive.)

    "Breath sprays, such as Binaca, have a high concentration of alcohol
    in them. Binaca can even cause a false breath-alcohol test result of
    0.811% BAC, which is nearly double a fatal dose of alcohol poisoning.
    Incidentally, Listerine mouthwash can cause a false breath-alcohol
    test result of 0.43% BAC, which is near the level of coma. These
    effects last as long as 30 minutes to an hour." (The Prohibition
    Times, JUNK SCIENCE: GOVERNMENT TESTS FOR DRUNK DRIVING by John Lee ,
    http://www.geocities.com/prohibition_us/BacFst.html )

    This legal article sites some of those statistics, too:
    http://216.239.39.100/search?q=cache...hl=en&ie=UTF-8

    However, I can find no stats online that *specifically* discuss the
    breath strips. Since they are made from an intensified version of
    Listerine, it is only natural that they, like the traditional
    Listerine, result in a false-positive.

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    Jarhed1964 is offline Rookie
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    Default Re: Careful with cold drugs and Listerine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brown67
    He had been drinking the night before and used listerine in the morning. I never realized listerine could make you show a high blood alcohol rate.

    I'm willing to bet his DUI came from the drinks he had the night before, not the listerine. Sleeping doesnt necessarily get rid of alcohol in your system. Only time does. Your bodyweight is another factor, but figure one drink per hour that your liver can process. He doesnt go into detail about how many drinks he had the night before, but if he got up early, my bet is that he wasnt yet sober.

    I've been drunk at work at 11:00am the morning after a midnite booze session. Most folks have done the same but just dont realize it. If I had gotten stopped on the way to work, I would have gotten a DUI. Period.

    I think he's making excuses. Shouldnt have been drinking AT ALL before having to drive the next day. :roll:

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    dtryanxpress is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by silvan
    Quote Originally Posted by dtryanxpress
    doesnt chewing gum now have alcohol? wtf! :shock:
    I've wondered about this too. I chew gum between meals because I'm too sorry to brush my teeth more than once a day, and it helps keep my dentist happy. I can't stand gums with any aspartame at all, and I can only tolerate a minimal amount of sucralose. The only formulation I can tolerate is Trident Cinnamon, and it gets most of its sweetness from Xylitol.

    It's not ethanol, but I don't know if it counts as "alcohol" or not. Would it affect a breathalyzer? Could it intoxicate me in some way? Damn, I sure hope not.
    Does any1 know if its safe to chew gum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Truckfam
    Ok, then ditch the Listerine, and get a non-alcohol mouthwash..
    and then what? get cavities?

    No dice! :x
    chili fries w/ranch

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