There's a long list of substances that have led to charges of driving under the influence (DUI) in the state of Washington. Beer, wine, and marijuana are probably the most common culprits; but spirits, cocaine, and heroin cause their share of DUIs as well. There's even cases of people drinking cough medicine, taking prescription drugs, and huffing chemicals and then getting behind the wheel. But to my knowledge, no one in Washington has ever been arrested for DUI after drinking… hand sanitizer.
That's apparently what happened in Middletown, Connecticut earlier this month. On October 5, a 36-year old woman reportedly lost control of her car and almost struck another vehicle. When police arrived, they gave her a Breath test; and she blew a blood alcohol content of .17 (which would be more than twice the legal limit in Washington). She then admitted to police that she had drunk a half bottle of hand sanitizer prior to driving. What people don't realize is that hand sanitizer has a very high concentration of alcohol. In fact, experts say that the woman's alcohol intake from that half-bottle of sanitizer is equal to what she would have consumer had she drank 32 shots of vodka.
The woman now faces charges of driving under the influence.Though this story is somewhat humorous, it could be a cautionary tale for parents of teenagers who may be curious about alcohol. For these mothers and fathers, it may not be unwise to keep an eye on any containers of hand sanitizer that are sitting around the home.