When we hear about a person with a DUI conviction, we tend to assume the person was drinking beer, wine or liquor. Yet, there is no guarantee that the person weaving in and out of traffic in front of you has had a sip of any drink, or has even been near a bar before driving so erratically. For instance, a woman who tested at almost three times the legal BAC limit admitted she had been drinking vanilla extract – a product anyone can purchase at a grocery store.
For many first-time DUI offenders, it is easy to imagine how a few too many drinks led to a bad decision. First-time DUI offenders aren’t usually drinking household products in order to get “buzzed,” though, and they often see the error of their way and take the steps to ensure it never happens again. More often than not, those who turn to household products like vanilla extract have a history of alcohol addiction and/or prior drunk driving offenses.
Any type of ethanol alcohol can influence a person’s BAC, whether it’s a beer or a bottle of flavoring used in cooking. Car breathalyzers and ignition interlock devices can detect even the smallest amount of alcohol in a breath sample from these flavorings or other household products containing alcohol. It is the job of the car breathalyzer to ensure the person driving has not been drinking any type of alcohol, and it is a highly effective way to stop a DUI from happening again, even if it is only vanilla extract.
A DUI conviction does not always involve only “normal” alcoholic beverages. In fact, a DUI can even refer to a person who is under the influence of other substances like cold medications or prescription or illegal drugs. While vanilla extract DUI cases are rare, there are plenty of ways people endanger us all on the road, all for a “buzz” that can have tragic results.