Washer fluid behind drink driving mix-up

Monika Mårtensson cleaned her windscreen with washer fluid. This was enough to put her over the limit of a police breathalyser test.

“I joked to the policeman that I hadn’t drunk alcohol in five years. And what happened? I failed the breath test. I was shocked,” Mårtensson said to local newspaper Falu-Kuriren.

Police suspected however that the reason behind the failed breath test was something other than alcohol. After Mårtensson was given the chance to breathe fresh air for five minutes she passed the test without the meter registering any alcohol content.

“That was a incredible relief. It was quite embarrassing to stand there outside my car for five minutes with police nearby, waiting. People drove past and looked.”

For Kjell Larsson at Dalarna police the find that washer fluid could cause a failed breath test came as a surprise.

“I know that mouth wash has been found to register on the meter. There could well be further reasons,” he said to the newspaper.

The experience turned out well for Mårtensson and she was able to go about her errands.

Police routine after a failed breath test is to take the driver to the station for further tests to ascertain the exact level of blood alcohol content.

The limit for driving in Sweden is a blood alcohol content of 0.02 percent, in comparison with 0.08 percent in the UK and USA, and 0.05 percent across most of the EU.