Mouthwash Leads to DUI Charges for Michigan Woman

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A woman, arrested after failing a sobriety test and telling police she drank three glasses of Listerine, has pleaded guilty to drunken driving.

Police said Carol A. Ries, 50, of Adrian entered guilty pleas Jan. 20. to operating a car under the influence and following too closely. Police suspected she had been drinking alcohol after she rear-ended another vehicle at red light on Jan. 9.

She passed one breathalyzer test, but failed another that used different equipment. Police found a bottle of Listerine in her car, and she told them she had had three glasses earlier in the day. Her blood alcohol level was .3, more than three times the legal limit, police said.

Prosecutors agreed to drop charges of having an open intoxicant in the vehicle and not having insurance, Sgt. Lynn Courington said Wednesday.

According to Listerine manufacturer Pfizer Inc.'s Web site, original formula Listerine contains 26.9 percent alcohol, more than four times that of many malt liquors. Other varieties contain 21.6 percent alcohol.

No telephone listings for a Carol Ries in Adrian, about 75 miles southwest of Detroit, could be found, and the Lenawee County District Court said she did not have a lawyer.

Ries, who does not have a history of drunken driving, could face up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine when she is sentenced Feb. 11.