The alcohol in hand sanitisers can affect a drink driving breath test, as the device may be contaminated or even detect the fumes from your hands.

If you are concerned that your breath or blood sample has been distorted by hand sanitiser, please contact our London drink driving solicitors straightaway.

Drink driving solicitors

Hand sanitisers can help kill bacteria and viruses on your hands – including the coronavirus. But they need to contain at least 60% alcohol if they are to be effective against COVID-19. This can create problems if you get pulled over for suspected drink driving, because the alcohol present in hand sanitisers could affect your breathalyser test.

This may seem strange, seeing as you have not actually consumed any alcohol-based products. However, in these days of the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are using hand sanitisers regularly. This includes motorists, police and medical staff. Any of whom could contaminate a drink driving test. More on drunk in charge of a vehicle.

How contamination happens

Breathalyser machines are very sensitive. If you have recently used hand sanitiser (or the police officer has) it could be transferred onto the mouthpiece. There is also the possibility that the machine could detect fumes from your hands while you are performing the test. This could deliver misrepresentative readings.

Problems could also arise if you provide a blood sample, rather than a breath sample. For example, the person taking the sample may have used hand sanitiser just beforehand, thereby contaminating the syringe. Again, this could affect your test, producing a false-positive result.

Lessons from the past

This is not the first time in recent years that alcohol-based contamination has been an issue. In the past, the police used alcohol-based swabs as a disinfectant prior to taking a blood sample. However, they stopped using them for fear of distorting the reading.

A 2017 study in the USA also performed an experiment, in which sober participants were asked to take a breath test. The tests were administered by people who had rubbed their hands in alcohol-based sanitiser. Worryingly, 10% showed a positive breath alcohol result, even though they had not consumed any alcohol at all.

Your drink driving defence

If your breath or blood sample is deemed to be unreliable, it cannot be used to convict you of a drink driving offence. So, if you have failed an alcohol test and believe you were not over the legal limit, please contact our motoring defence solicitors straightaway.

Motoring Offence Solicitors Locations

Motoring Offence Solicitors Dewsbury, Motoring Offence Solicitors Sheffield, Motoring Offence Solicitors Leeds, Motoring Offence Solicitors Huddersfield, Motoring Offence Solicitors London. In short, wherever you are, we can help you.

Ashmans has been providing expert assistance with motoring offences since we were founded over 10 years ago. We are ranked as a Leading Firm in the 2020 edition of the Legal 500, the foremost guide to law firms in the UK. Plus, we have an excellent track record with our motor defence Lawyers.

The penalties for drink driving are severe. If you believe that hand sanitiser contamination could be an issue in your case, we are ready and willing to help.

Contact us now

For an initial enquiry, call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. See our motoring defence fees page to find out more about our fixed fees.

You can also email us on or complete our Online Enquiry Form and we’ll be in touch soon.

Can hand sanitiser affect a drink driving breath test

The simple answer is yes, it can be affected by your personal sanitiser and also the officers testing you could also latter the outcome of the breath test

Can mouthwashes and mouth spray effect a drink driving breath test

Yes Many mouth sprays or mouthwashes, for instance, contain alcohol. This could be used for a hip flask defence and no conviction would take place if the procedure has not been followed.