No Raccoons Were Squeezed in the Making of this DUI Hoax


We’ve written about attempts to fool an ignition interlock before. The devices are designed to keep a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking, and they do just that. But some people love to think they can defeat them with tricks like balloons and hair dryers.

Those ploys don’t work. So it was with surprise that we noted a story about a man who successfully cheated an ignition interlock with a raccoon.

The story, which was seen on Reddit, was in the form of a photo of a police report about an intoxicated petty officer in Camp Pendleton, San Diego.

Suspect was too intoxicated to successfully start the vehicle, so he went into the park where he captured a raccoon … Individual utilized the racoon [sic] to blow into the interlock system successfully.

The report tells how the raccoon blacked out from too much squeezing, but came to later and proceeded to attack the driver, whose vehicle ended up in a swimming pool.

If it sounds too funny to be true, it is.

Level-headed readers, as opposed to the ones who picked up the story for their own papers, might note a few suspicious details:

  • Raccoons do not like to be picked up. They like being squeezed even less. The idea of getting several seconds of breath sample out of an angry raccoon is preposterous.
  • A person that drunk would have a very hard time holding on to a raccoon that did not want to be picked up. That would include all raccoons living in public parks.
  • In order to pass a breath test, the user needs to do more than blow. LifeSafer ignition interlocks, for example, require the user to hum while blowing, in order to remove any possibility of raccoons. Other devices make the user suck as well as blow. Raccoons are not know for cooperating in such pursuits.

raccoon-dui-tailDon’t get us wrong. We love this story. It was a good laugh. But if you have an ignition interlock in your vehicle, our advice is to use it as directed, passing tests by not drinking before you get  behind the wheel.

Or go ahead. Squeeze a raccoon. The police will be waiting. And a doctor too, we hope.