Listerine DUI

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LauraWeare
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Listerine DUI

Post by LauraWeare » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:48 am

A member of my home group got a DUI because she swallowed some Listerine in her car and then got into a fender-bender. It's a very gray area because although she blew over a 1.0 BAL, it was apparently not an intentional relapse. But, is it a relapse?

She is the treasurer of our group, and several members want to call a group conscience on whether she needs to turn over the job to someone else.

I'm in the middle as the current chair and co-founder of the group. Things are getting ugly and I'm dreading the confrontation.

Opinions?

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beginningagain7
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Re: Listerine DUI

Post by beginningagain7 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:31 pm

In my opinion there is more to the story than what you have been told. 1.0 reading doesn't sound like it was more than just a swallow of Listerine. Listerine is not to be swallowed anyway. Rinse out your mouth and then spit it out. Common sense driving a car you wouldn't use Listerine unless you were taking it for another reason.
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Re: Listerine DUI

Post by ODAAT » Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:46 pm

beginningagain7 wrote:In my opinion there is more to the story than what you have been told.
Assuredly.

Drinking Listerine is pretty nasty...

LauraW, if you can, please keep us posted on this story.

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Brock
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Re: Listerine DUI

Post by Brock » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:13 pm

A tricky situation indeed. To me the main problem is if the group says she must quit the position, it’s pretty well the same as saying ‘we don’t believe you,’ that is the sort of thing that can really be devastating if she is in fact innocent.

It’s easy to sit here and say I don’t believe her, and I agree with those who say there’s more to the story. This doesn't usually happen in the order she says, listerine then accident, it’s more like accident, ‘oh crap let me swallow some listerine to hide the booze on my breath.’

I would give her the benefit of the doubt, keeping in mind that alcoholics can’t live happily with a lie. I have known members to confess to an earlier slip, when the burden of the lie got too heavy. Of course if she is the keeper of the groups purse, you take a chance there as well, but just in case she is innocent, I think it’s a chance worth taking.
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Re: Listerine DUI

Post by ODAAT » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:51 pm

The best way to handle this issueis through the group conscience process. Individuals, including the chair or a co-founder don't have any authority to adjudicate a situation as described by OP.

There is but one ultimate authority that should be recognized by an AA group.

LauraW is not really stuck "in the middle" as a leader. She is only an equal member of the group conscience...

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Re: Listerine DUI

Post by avaneesh912 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:04 pm

It's a very gray area because although she blew over a 1.0 BAL, it was apparently not an intentional relapse.
Must have drank lot of them to blow over a 1.0 BAL. Doesn't sound right. I saw a pack of DayQuil and Niquil package and almost picked it but then saw the label on Nyquil, it had 10% alcohol. Dropped that immediately and picked 2 DayQuils.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: Listerine DUI

Post by LauraWeare » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:45 pm

Thanks all for the input. Many of our group members are also skeptical that she is telling the whole truth.

I feel as Brock does, wanting to give her the benefit of the doubt. I care about this person and don't want to drive her away.

I am getting pressure from a number of people to bring this up at our meeting on Saturday, simply because I happen to be chairing this month. I totally agree that it is a group conscience issue. I've just been reluctant to bring it up for the reasons stated above, and I thought it might be helpful to get some more input during the coming week.

I will definitely post an update.

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Re: Listerine DUI

Post by JeffS. » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:51 pm

I would have to agree there is no way listerine produced a BAC of that number. You would be dead if you had a perfect 1.0 BAC. I assume you meant .10. Has she gone to court yet? Innocent until proven guilty.

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Re: Listerine DUI

Post by Layne » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:39 pm

5.625 fluid oz (depending upon body weight and other factors) of listerine could cause BAC to raise to .08 which is the limit in the US. That figure is for a 100# person. For a 160# person, the fluid oz would be 9. That having been said, I believe any decision should be the result of a group conscience.

Before I formed my opinion, I would have a 1 to 1 talk with her and ask her point blank what exactly transpired. I would maintain eye contact during her answer. I would then ask any questions I thought appropriate until I felt satisfied that I heard enough information in order to form my opinion. I would also provide any well researched and validated data on BAC that I possessed if it was pertinent.

I honestly don't know what my opinion would be at this point because it is not a one size fits all situation and would require further investigation on my part in order to be fair to all concerned.

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Re: Listerine DUI

Post by Brock » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:58 pm

That’s interesting information about the fluid ounces. But since 1 cup = 8 fl oz it’s no way she drank listerine to the extent of the reading, anyone drinking that much doesn't just do it for fresh breath. On the other hand, a web search brings up information like this -
Mouthwash’s Effect on a Breathalyzer. The answer is “yes.” Mouthwash, along with a number of other things, can cause a breathalyzer to produce an incorrect blood alcohol reading which, in turn, can cause a person to be falsely arrested for DUI.
I guess that’s the sort of information Layne suggested looking for, it helps her get the benefit of the doubt, anyway we look at it.
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Re: Listerine DUI

Post by Layne » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:29 pm

Here is a good link from a reputable source on the effects of mouthwash on blood alcohol determinations by breath analysis.

Moderator edit: Due to forum policy

Google: pubmed/8254857

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PaigeB
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Re: Listerine DUI

Post by PaigeB » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:39 am

Layne wrote:5.625 fluid oz (depending upon body weight and other factors) of listerine could cause BAC to raise to .08 which is the limit in the US. That figure is for a 100# person. For a 160# person, the fluid oz would be 9. That having been said, I believe any decision should be the result of a group conscience.

Before I formed my opinion, I would have a 1 to 1 talk with her and ask her point blank what exactly transpired. I would also provide any well researched and validated data on BAC that I possessed if it was pertinent.
Good research. Thanks Layne. And also thanks to avaneesh for pointing out the error of 1.0 vs .10 (or .01) ~ AND the info on breathalyzers - tho I am not sure of the source. ODAAT for saying, "LauraW is not really stuck "in the middle" as a leader. She is only an equal member of the group conscience..."

I ask, "Is the Group Treasury of special concern?" Should it be? What do the Traditions tell us?
https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/aa-lite ... uality-mix
https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/aa-lite ... -treasurer

Most of ALL talk to this woman! Forget about getting the facts straight. Woman to woman - knee to knee - eye to eye.

Ask "What is My Purpose here...?"

I know a gal who changed a long term sober date on drinking mouthwash. We are what we are and that date, though precious, is not the end all and be all of sobriety. She kept at least one sponsee who wished to stay with her. IDK if her group chastised her or not, but she has stay sober since then. I do not know how she feels about resetting her sober date or why she chose to do it. Not my business. I hear her in meetings no differently...

Most importantly to me would be - do you have an alcoholic who is in need of your help? You gotta meet 'em where they are. Suit up and show up - what happens is not really in your Power anyway.

THEN what is the GC? There need be no argument whatever. The Traditions state what we should DO. Let HP speak It's Will through the Group's Conscious vote. (perhaps Anonymously - on paper - Y or N - to allow for Spiritual Answer)

Good Luck and good Love.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

LauraWeare
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Re: Listerine DUI

Post by LauraWeare » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:49 pm

Thanks Layne and Jeff for clarifying the numbers. I too googled this topic and learned that the BAL machines can give false readings. Definitely innocent until proven guilty.

To clarify the story as told to me by this woman: her car is apparently well supplied with food, cigarettes and mouthwash used to clear her breath of the food and smoke tastes. She doesn't like to spit the Listerine out the window so she swallows it. Granted, this is pretty lame as most of us know to read the label and there are non-alcoholic mouthwashes. But, we can't read her mind.

She can afford a good lawyer and has not gone to court yet.

I definitely appreciate the input. My group needs all the info we can get in order to make a decision.

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Re: Listerine DUI

Post by D'oh » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:29 pm

First off. She needs Help to get the "Honest" part of How it Works.

Second, Bring the Body, and the Mind usually follows.

No doubt it could be mouth wash, but it is still an escape. Group Conscience should hold the answer as a vote. Until she becomes Honest, the verdict will be tricky what will help this person?

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Re: Listerine DUI

Post by clouds » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:14 am

Several things are possible as far as the truth about her drinking intentions, or was it cleaning her mouth?
So, no use surmising really.

I know I drank vanilla extract (high percent alcohol), listerine, and cooking brandy. All of them awful stuff, but then again I didn't drink alcohol for the taste of it. :lol:
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