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Convicted Lawyer Blames DUI on His Toothpaste

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By Jason Beahm on December 09, 2010 5:50 AM

Can toothpaste cause you to test positive for alcohol?

Anthony Galluccio, a former Massachusetts state senator, tested positive for alcohol three days after being sentenced to six months of home confinement for leaving the scene of an accident. The judge revoked Galluccio's probation for violating a no-alcohol provision of his sentence. Galluccio says that the only explanation he can think of is that toothpaste was the culprit.

That's because the toothpaste he was using contained sorbitol, an artificial sweetener used in toothpaste that contains sugar alcohol. So did the court buy that argument?

What do you think? The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled that the judge rightly revoked Galluccio's probation and sentenced him to a year in jail. So you might want to save that defense for the Law & Order script you're writing. It doesn't sound like it will get you far in a courtroom.

Every state makes it a crime for a driver to operate a vehicle while impaired by the effects of alcohol or drugs or with a blood alcohol level at or above .08 percent. Under "implied consent" laws, drivers must submit to a chemical test, such as breath, blood, or urine testing, if suspected of DUI. If a driver refuses, implied consent laws carry penalties such as mandatory suspension of a driver's license, usually for six months to a year.

Back to Galluccio, this is not the first or most creative defense used in a criminal case, and it won't be the last. There was the famous "Twinkie defense" in the Dan White trial, who was charged with the murder of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. Earlier this year, we also wrote about the defense of temporary insanity by reason of caffeine.

So whatever became of Mr. Galluccio? According to WCVB Boston, Galluccio was paroled in July after serving about half his sentence. Hopefully he has since switched brands of toothpaste.

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