Can you chew gum and drive at the same time?

Posted by Michael Whipple | Oct 19, 2022 | 0 Comments

Not if you have a condition restriction requiring that you have an Ignition Interlock Device.  We recently had a case where the client risked losing their license for 2 years for an IID violation.  BMV pulled our client's license for a series of about 20-plus violations.  Our client was perplexed as the client assured that no alcohol was involved.  Upon further investigation, we determined that client was chewing Eclipse brand gum.  Apparently, the sugars in the gum can affect the IID and show as perceived mouth alcohol.  The impact lasted over 20 minutes!  We also discovered that pizza, and baked goods such as that morning breakfast sandwich may have been involved.  That's correct, yeast shows up as alcohol.  Here's a list of what not to do when driving with an IID:

Mouthwash containing alcohol, • Foods that contain alcohol - i.e., rum cake, vodka pasta, and many other foods that may have alcohol content, • Chewing gums containing sugar alcohol (i.e., Eclipse), • Dental bridges with zinc/mint, • Alcohol swabs that may be used to sanitize the interlock air way, • After shave lotions, for example witch-hazel contains 14% alcohol, • Industrial cleaning products such as brake cleaning fluids and other solvents containing alcohol, inhaling the fumes can result in a failed test. • Bug/insect spray • Cold/flu medication containing alcohol

And of course alcohol and all things that include yeast.  Did we win the hearing? Of course, we did or we would not blog about it.

If you find yourself suspended for chewing gum and driving, give us a call and ask for Mike or Dave.

About the Author

Michael Whipple

Michael Whipple has been an attorney at Hallett Whipple since 2003. Attorney Whipple focuses on trial work, emphasizing state and federal criminal defense. He is a member of the Maine Association of Criminal De...


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