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Clean hands are important, but can they land you behind bars?

How many times have you read about the importance of frequent hand-washing with regard to avoiding harmful germs, viruses and infections? You may be like many others in Florida who are aware of this crucial hygiene factor but are so busy in the normal course of an average day that you may not always have time to locate a sink to wash your hands. Like most people nowadays, you probably keep hand sanitizer nearby for quick in-between washings and disinfecting.

In addition to your own hygiene, you may have cause for concern regarding others. Someone who doesn't wash his or her hands often enough could cause you to contract an illness. You may also be surprised to learn certain people's hygiene habits, such as a police officer pulling you over in a traffic stop, could cause you to test above the legal limit for alcohol in your bloodstream if you were to take a Breathalyzer test? As shocking as it may seem, if the testing device picks up the residual alcohol, you might be convicted for drunk driving in court.

How can this be?

Just imagine enjoying a nice luncheon with a few coworkers. On your way back to the office, a police officer pulls you over and says your car veered over the center line of traffic. This not-uncommon driving error could lead to a whole host of legal problems. In particular, if the officer used hand sanitizer just before administering a breath test to you, it may lead to drunk driving charges or even a conviction in court. Keeping the following facts in mind may help you avoid trouble:

  • Most hand sanitizers contain some form of alcohol.
  • If the person administering your Breathalyzer test recently used hand sanitizer, it can cause the machine to register a false positive when you breathe into the device.
  • It doesn't matter if the hand sanitizer in question is the foam or gel type; either can cause blood alcohol content levels to register as high as twice the legal limit for driving!

It's probably difficult for you to even imagine that you could go out for a chef's salad on your lunch break and wind up facing drunk driving charges or automatic driver's license suspension because a police officer used a portable product to clean his or her hands before asking you to take a breath test. If such an incident were to occur, you'd be one step ahead of the game if you were already aware of your rights and knew where to turn for support.

Most Florida residents who wish to fight against criminal charges or challenge certain evidence against them rely on experienced defense attorneys to do their talking for them in court. If you present a strong defense, you may be able to overcome a potential DUI conviction and get back to enjoying lunch breaks with friends.

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2917 W. Kennedy Boulevard
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33609

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