DUI Magic Bullet Put to the Test
By: Gerri Elder
A new product that is being marketed to drinkers makes some big claims that some say just are not true. Police officers say that Sobrietol will not help drivers sober up faster so that they may drive home safely after drinking and avoid a DUI arrest or tragic DUI accident.
According to a report by KY3 News, despite the large number of drunk driving enforcement and education campaigns and tougher DUI laws nationwide, police say that drivers who have been drinking or are otherwise impaired are still one of the deadliest dangers seen out on the road.
The makers of Sobrietol claim that the product assists people who have been drinking by removing the alcohol from their system, thereby eliminating nasty hangovers and allowing them to drive safely by lowering their blood alcohol content (BAC). It is not a product that claims to help people who are impaired beat a breath test or otherwise deceive law enforcement; it actually claims to make drunk people sober. According to the product website, Sobrietol lowers blood alcohol content by 56 percent by removing alcohol from the bloodstream three times faster than normal.
The product's claims to quickly reduce blood alcohol content certainly got the attention of some Missouri State Troopers. The officers decided to put the product to the test to see if the claims of rapidly lowered blood alcohol content could possibly be true.
The Missouri State Troopers and KY3 News found four volunteers who were willing to drink alcohol on two different evenings and submit to blood alcohol testing periodically throughout each night of drinking. Each of the four drinkers was served enough alcohol to produce blood alcohol content above .08 percent - the legal limit for driving.
After the drinks were consumed, each test subject was given field sobriety tests and a breath test to confirm that they met the legal standard of impairment and could be arrested for DUI if they had chosen to drive. Afterwards, each participant followed the instructions on the packet and consumed the Sobrietol, which they described as having a fruity chalk-like flavor.
After consuming the alcohol and then the Sobrietol product, each test subject took additional breath tests over the next two hours to determine if the product was working to reduce their blood alcohol content. The results were conclusive in all four of the test subjects. Not only did their blood alcohol content not take a nose dive after consuming the Sobrietol, each subject's blood alcohol content continued to rise slightly after consuming the foul tasting product.
The same test was repeated a week later without Sobrietol and the same results were collected. The officers were not surprised to find that according to their tests, Sobrietol made absolutely no difference to the blood alcohol content of the drinkers that they tested.
Dr. Jim Blaine told KY3 News that he wasn't surprised by the test results either. Dr. Blaine questions whether the marketing of Sobrietol could actually be dangerous by putting more drunk drivers on the road.
The results of the Sobrietol testing may not be what drinkers hoping to avoid a DUI arrest wanted to hear, but it is important that consumers realize that there is no magic bullet proven to help remove alcohol from the bloodstream quickly and it is unsafe to drive after consuming enough alcohol to become intoxicated. Designated drivers are still the best bet for avoiding a DUI arrest after a night of drinking out on the town.