A breath mint sold at Oktoberfest halls, that kills the odor of alcohol on a drinker’s breath, has left a bad taste in some people’s mouths.
“It’s sad that someone in fest halls where they’re selling beer would try to cover that up,
“said Jim Reid, a KW area spokesman for People to Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (PRIDE).
“The hope that most people would have is that ‘I haven’t had that much and the first thing that police do is try to smell it (alcohol) on my breath, so if they can’t smell it they won’t make me take the ALERT test.
‘”He said however, that police do more than just smell a person’s breath when they evaluate how much alcohol someone has consumed. The mints, called F3 (BreathPatrol) are imported from West Germany and have been on sale at the “Blow as You Go” breathalyzer booths in fest halls during Oktoberfest. Although it hasn’t been advertised that the candies can get drunk drivers off the hook, even importer Gerhard Zielinsky of Kitchener admits that the location where they were sold might imply that to some people. “It may not have been the smartest place where they’re being promoted,” he said Sunday. “But it was one way of using the space where the machines were and using the staff. That’s where the bad connection comes in.” But Zielinsky said the breath mint is just a breath mint although it’s stronger than most, and he’s not giving anyone any new ideas. People who drink often chew gum or use mints to freshen their breath without thinking they’ll lower the alcohol in their bloodstream. He said he never meant to suggest that F3 (BreathPatrol) would give drinking drivers an edge against the police. “That’s not what these candies were ever meant for. They’re not going to cover anything up,” he said. “Let’s face it. With someone who’s been drinking, one look and it’ll give it away.” The only difference between his and other brands of mint is that the lemony-tasting F3 doesn’t replace the smell or alcohol with the smell of spearmint or peppermint. “That’s really the quality of it,” Zielinsky said. Although sold in Germany for many years, Zielinsky (who has the North American rights) said he just started importing F3 (BreathPatrol) last year. It’s stocked in corner stores throughout Kitchener-Waterloo. Because it’s a German product and because it does mask the smell of alcohol, Zielinsky thought that Oktoberfest would be a logical place to sell the candy. Russ McEachnie, who operated the breathalyzer booths at the fest halls said “We were selling them in our booths as an extra revenue opportunity. I don’t know what all the stink is about. There wouldn’t be all this hassle if it was Certs.” Both he and Zielinsky said they were against drinking and driving &staff at the booths had talked many people into leaving their cars behind when they went home from having a good time at Oktoberfest. “It’s definitely not intended to have more people out there drinking and driving,” Zielinsky said. “I would be taking a step backward.” Oktoberfest president Guenter Jessat said he didn’t know about the mints but suggested they were being sold because “maybe because you want to kiss someone or in the realm of Gemuetlichkeit, you want to freshen your breath.” Oktoberfest 1988 Police say ‘No-Booze’Candy Sale a Sour Deal By DARYL-LYNN CARLSON
Toronto Sun … Sunday October 16. 1988.
A sweet-tasting candy intended to kill the odor of alcohol on a drinker’s breath has soured police and anti-drunk driving lobbyists. The candy, called F3 (BreathPatrol) , has been on sale at “blow before you go” breathalyzer booths at pavilions throughout Kitchener-Waterloo during this year’s Oktoberfest; “This is deplorable,” said John Bates of People to Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (PRIDE).
While it’s not advertised that the candies can get drunk drivers off the hook, Bates said the sales tactic “implies that some people can drink and drive undetected.”Waterloo Regional Police Insp. Adam Schmidt com pared the candies to radar detectors that can “give someone a false sense of security. “They’re putting the product in a very strategic location. There’s a moral aspect here to be concerned about,” said Schmidt. Metro Police are also concerned and will monitor any attempt to market the sweets in the same manner locally, said breathalyzer specialist Garry Harrison. Organizer Joe Whittle of the Kitchener Lions Oktoberfest hall said his group will discuss dropping the candy sales from their Queensmount arena pavilion next year, although they “didn’t want upset the apple cart” this year. The odorless candy, which tastes like strong lemon tea, hails from West Germany and is being imported by Kitchener businessman Gerhard Zielinsky. The candies have been on sale in drinking establishments in the area for the last year, said Zielinsky, although he said he’s “not aiming for the just the alcohol-drinking crowd. “It’s a candy just like any other breath candy,” he said.