You’re Probably Drunk If You Pee on the Cops’ Box of Breathalyzers

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DAMIEN MEYER / AFP / Getty Images

A worker selects an electronic breathalyser during a test in Sartilly, France, on March 2, 2012.

Want to prove to cops that you’re not drunk? Sure, there’s walking a straight line, or reciting the alphabet backwards. But if you want to prove your sobriety, start by not peeing on a police officer’s box full breathalyzer equipment.

When Ryan Scott Thompson of Christchurch, New Zealand crashed his car into an elderly woman’s house last month, he reportedly had trouble answering their questions coherently and couldn’t even walk without assistance. Police took him in after a breathalyzer test revealed that he had three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system.  But they should have stopped off at a bathroom first.

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According to a report in the Star Canterbury newspaper, the 26-year-old forklift driver was being booked when he was overcome with the urge to relieve himself. The Star reports that an officer “turned to see Thompson, still seated, urinating into a box of breath screening tubes.” Thompson refused to heed repeated requests for him to stop.

All 301 breathalyzer tests in the box were promptly thrown out. Thompson was charged with willful damage and ordered to pay about $88 to replace the equipment during a recent court appearance. Thompson also pleaded guilty to drunk driving and careless driving, netting him a nine-month license suspension.

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