An article posted on news.com.au entitled “Bubble O’ Bill ice cream helps win beat drink driving fight”, discussed how a man’s blood alcohol reading rose after eating an ice cream. The man was said to have had a few bites of the Bubble O’ Bill ice cream while at a service station and upon returning to his vehicle he blew into his alcohol interlock device which recorded a blood alcohol concentration of 0.018. The man was adamant that he had not been drinking and that the reading was caused by the ice cream he had eaten at the service station. The magistrates tested the man’s claim and a police officer who was confirmed in a preliminary test to have 0.00 blood alcohol concentration, ate the ice cream and was found to have a reading of 0.018 after being tested again. This article will discuss some treats we may enjoy that may affect are blood alcohol concentration reading and the effect when taking a blood alcohol concentration test.
It is important to note that there are a number of mouthwashes, cough medicine and toothpaste that contain alcohol. However, while the alcohol may linger in our mouth after some time the alcohol dissipates. Some items that contain alcohol that we may consume:
- Cherry ripes
- Cough medicines
- Ice cream (Bubble O’ Bill)
While the claim put forward by the man may seem bizarre, the test done in court proved the accuracy of the man’s claim. An alcohol interlock device is a mechanism that is fitted into a car driven by someone who is on the alcohol interlock program.
Drivers are normally referred to the interlock program by a court after being convicted of a drink driving offence and start the program after they have served a period of time of not driving. The alcohol interlock device is fitted in the driver’s vehicle for a specific period of time.
Most alcohol interlock device companies recommend that a driver should wait 15 minutes after eating or drinking before driving and before testing his or her blood alcohol concentration. This is because foods that contain a very small amount of alcohol can stay in your mouth for several minutes after being consumed. While it is helpful to know of alcohol in the products that you are consuming before driving it is highly unlikely that small amount of alcohol in mouthwash or a treat will get you charged with a drink driving offence.
A common feature in NSW is a roadside breath test. If a driver fails the original roadside breath test he or she will be taken back to a police station or a ‘booze bus’ and subjected to a breath analysis. In the case where a driver has failed his or her breath test as a result of foods he or she has consumed it is very likely that the small amount of alcohol consumed will be gone by the time he or she is retested at the police station or ‘booze bus’ thus avoiding an NSW drink driving charge.