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Does the penny-in-the-mouth DWI trick work?

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2023 | DWI

As you probably know, Texas is not a place to drink and drive. After all, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, driving while intoxicated can have serious consequences, including the loss of your driving privileges, higher insurance rates and alcohol education classes.

You are not likely to face these consequences unless officers have probable cause to believe you are driving while intoxicated. To develop this probable cause, officers might ask you to breathe into a testing device. It is not possible to trick the breath test by putting a penny in your mouth, though.

The penny-in-the-mouth myth

It can be tempting to try to outsmart law enforcement. Young drivers tend to be particularly vulnerable to urban legends, however. One of the more popular DWI-associated myths is that sucking on a penny or any other coin can confuse a breath test.

While this might have been marginally true when breath testing was in its infancy, it is absolutely false now. Indeed, putting a coin in your mouth is much more likely to cause you to choke than to help you avoid a DWI arrest.

Your DWI strategy

Under Texas law, you must give officers your name and some other basic information during a DWI stop. You do not have to tell them whether you have been drinking, though. Still, officers may pose the question in an attempt to get you to incriminate yourself. They also might ask where you have been to determine if you are driving home from a bar.

Ultimately, rather than putting a penny in your mouth when you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror, it is advisable to know your rights and exercise them during and after a DWI stop.