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Police: Have You Been Drinking? Driver: No, But My Hands are Germ Free!

Alex Wong, Getty Images

If you often use hand sanitizer, you could mistakenly test positive for alcohol consumption! What? I know, right? According to a new study conducted at the University of Florida, that may be true even for non-drinkers.

Researchers found that over an extended period of time, frequent use of hand sanitizers could cause a person to test positive for alcohol consumption, depending on which test was used. University of Florida Assistant Professor of the Department of Psychiatry Dr. Gary Reisfield, who co-authored the study said that in urine samples, alcohol can be found up to 5 days after consumption.  When it comes to the more common breathalyzer or blood test, it can only be detected for just a few hours after consumption.

So the bottom line is that for most people that use hand sanitizer a few times a day, it likely wouldn’t show up in a urine test. But for doctors, nurses, and others who need to use the product frequently, false positives could occur.

So the next time your pulled over for suspicion of DUI, just tell ’em you’re a doctor. No, stop that! Bottom line? Don’t drink the sanitizer.

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