Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Woman Accused of Driving Drunk on Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer. Photo: L.P.

A Connecticut woman has been arrested on a DUI charge after police say she drank a half bottle of hand sanitizer. Jennifer Wilcox, 36, of Middletown, allegedly lost control of her vehicle October 5 and nearly crashed into another car. Police pulled her over and administered a breathalyzer test, which registered a 0.17, just over double the legal limit. According to police, Wilcox “admitted to drinking one half of a bottle of hand sanitizer” before hitting the road. In an interview with WTNH, Wilcox again admitted to drinking the stuff: “I just saw it there so I drank it,” she told news anchor Bob Wilson. WTNH reports that the amount Wilcox drank is equal to 32 shots of vodka. Wilcox was released on $500 bond.

Ingesting hand sanitizer for the purpose of getting drunk has been a growing trend, especially popular among teens who can’t buy real liquor. Germ-X and other similar brands contain about 65% ethyl alcohol, posing serious health risks. Earlier this year, the LA Times reported that six teenagers had been hospitalized after ingesting hand sanitizer. While most cases involve teens drinking it straight from the bottle, those more scientifically-inclined have been able to distill their Purell to extract 120-proof liquor.

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