Botox is by far the most popular plastic surgery procedure in the world. In just 2007 alone, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported that 11.7 million cosmetic procedures were done in America and most of them were the muscle-paralyzing agent Botox. The majority of the injections are done on people age 35-50 with the second highest group being age 51-64 years. And even teenagers are getting in on the frozen action.
As Msnbc.com reports, Botox has even entered the legal arena. Recently, 51-year-old Paddi Anne Moore had charges dropped against her after she could not blow into a breathalyzer tube. Moore had been pulled over in West Vancouver after she was driving well under the speed limit on a local highway. Cpl. Fred Harding of the West Vancouver police reports that Moore admitting to drinking that night, but that she made no attempt to blow into the breathalyzer device. Moore claims that she tried to blow into the device four times but that it simply could not register a sample. Moore was charged with refusal to take a breathalyzer test.
However, once in court, Moore presented judge Carol Baird Ellan with a note from her doctor claiming her Botox hindered her ability to purse her lips for the breathalyzer. Moore’s doctor, who had administered the toxin in Mexico, wrote that Botox makes it difficult for a person “to wrap their lips around a straw or wide circumference such as a breathalyzer blow apparatus for up to six months.” Judge Baird Ellan agreed to drop the charges against Moore.
Officer Harding notes to the Vancouver Sun that Judge Baird Ellan is setting a dangerous precedence for drunk drivers trying to get off on technicalities. He points out that Moore’s face didn’t appear to be frozen at the time of arrest and that she almost crashed into two cars as she pulled away. He further points out that if you can speak, you can exhale through your mouth.
But at least one plastic surgeon is coming to Moore’s defense. As plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn told Msnbc.com, “Some people will inject Botox into the muscles around the mouth to get rid of smoker’s lines, those fine vertical lines that extend around the mouth…If a person is unable to pucker their lips, it looks strange. You may have a mouth that doesn’t move naturally, like a wax figure type of mouth.”
One thing is certain. If any figures from wax museum Madame Tussauds are considering a life of crime, the legal system will be ready for them.
For further reading:
- Botox defense adds new wrinkle to legal lexicon
- A wrinkle in time? The Botox defense
- More teens are turning to Botox