Mouthwash & DUI

Posted by William H. Sherman on Feb 19, 2016 | 0 Comments

Question:   My son is an alcoholic and has been to AA and several programs for alcoholics, including outpatient treatment and inpatient treatment here in Georgia. It has helped but he just recently relapsed and I found out from my wife that he was arrested for DUI a couple of nights ago. They tried to not tell me but I noticed that he didn't come home and I overheard my wife talking to a bail bond company. And my son is only 18 years old. So he's underage and shouldn't even be drinking. But to be honest with you alcoholism runs in our family.

I found out that he was driving here in Dunwoody, Georgia, and he hit a mailbox and someone called the Dunwoody police and they stopped his car. I know that he took a breath test and his level was .247. I understand that he was very intoxicated and that's a really high alcohol level.

When I questioned him about what happened he said that he didn't drink and beer or liquor, like he used to do. He said that he just drank mouthwash from our house to get drunk. He thinks because he didn't drink beer or a mixed drink that he shouldn't be charged with drunk driving.

Does he have a point? Does it matter that he wasn't drinking beer or liquor? Will any of this get his DUI charge reduced or even dropped?

K.M. in Dunwoody, GA

Answer:   That he got drunk on the alcohol in mouthwash rather than the alcohol in beer or liquor does not matter. If he was a less safe driver because he drank alcohol then he can be charged with a DUI. So, no, the fact that he got intoxicated from mouthwash will not help his defense.

Unfortunately, drinking mouthwash to get drunk is becoming increasingly popular. For people not old enough to buy liquor legally, mouthwash is easily available and does not require an ID to purchase. And mouthwash costs far less that liquor.

Brands like Listerine, Scope and Cepacol, as well as some of the mint flavored mouthwashes range in alcohol content from around 30 to about 55 proof. That's generally 2 or 3 times the alcohol content of wine.

To make matters worse, many brands of mouthwash contain denatured alcohol or ethyl alcohol. Both are unfit for human consumption and can cause blindness, organ failure and death. Also, mouthwash typically contains other toxic ingredients that can cause nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, and sometimes death.

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William H. Sherman

With a professional background that includes serving as a Senior Assistant County Attorney and as an Assistant Attorney General, attorney William H. Sherman has great experience, a broad range of legal knowledge and a proven record of success.  Each of Mr. Sherman's clients gets the full benefit of his experience.  Because attorney Sherman has worked for governmental organizations, large corporations and clerked for a judge, he has handled a wide variety of cases from negotiation and trial to successful appeal. Mr. Sherman is very proud of his reputation as a problem-solver who is always available to his clients.  Active in the community, Mr. Sherman and his wife, attorney Valerie Sherman, support many community organizations, sports teams and charities.  Call him now and let his experience work for you.


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