(ATLANTA) — An Atlanta billboard promoting a product to beat police breathalyzer tests is riling nearby residents.
The product, called the Breathalyzer Equalizer, promises to prevent false positive breathalyzer results by eliminating residual alcohol from the mouth.
“You can blow over the legal limit on a roadside police breathalyzer just by having a little Scope, Listerine, breath spray-type things in your mouth when you get stopped,” company co-founder Ron Lloyd, a former state trooper, says in a YouTube demonstration, adding that the product “doesn’t do anything to help someone who is truly intoxicated.”
A few squirts of breath spray can bring a breathalyzer reading up to 0.181 percent — more than double the legal limit of 0.08 percent alcohol, according to Lloyd’s video. But Breathalyzer Equalizer powder brings the reading down to 0.021 percent.
“All it does is improve the accuracy of roadside breath testing for responsible, sober, drinking drivers and prevent those types of people from being falsely accused of DUI,” Lloyd says.
But residents of the Atlanta neighborhood below the Breathalyzer Equalizer billboard worry it could encourage people to drive under the influence, thinking they can get away with it.
“You are putting drunks on the road,” said Barry Martin, an Atlanta resident and executive director of Georgia’s Mothers Against Drunk Driving, in an interview with ABC affiliate WSB-TV.
Even though the billboard reads “Sober Drivers Only,” and “Please Drink Responsibly,” a martini glass embedded in the word “Breathalyzer” could give drinkers the wrong idea, said Martin.
“That false sense of hope could lead to an accident,” he told WSB-TV. “That accident could kill somebody.”
A spokesman for Breathalyzer Equalizer, Paul Broft, insists the product is not intended to promote drunk driving, but rather to protect people from life-ruining false positive breathalyzer tests.
“What we are doing is protecting lives and careers,” Broft told WSB-TV. “There’s absolutely nothing out there that will sober you up other than time.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Karen Lehr, KIVI
Magdala Louissaint, KPVI
Susan Scutti, CNN