In Arizona, officers use blood alcohol content (BAC) testing every day to find DUI drivers. These tests have a high level of accuracy. Still, you may have heard rumors that consuming certain things can result in a false positive for drunk driving. How true is this?
IFL Science confirms that non-alcoholic food and drink can impact your test results. Your “mouth alcohol” level changes based on the food and drink you consume. These changes can last anywhere from minutes to hours. Foods with fermentation, high sugar levels or methyl trigger the most false positives. Some examples include:
- Honey buns and white breads
- Pecans and macadamia nuts
- Protein bars
- Ripe fruit
Durian fruit has a particular reputation for false BAC test readings. Other ripe fruit can have a similar effect. The drinks that trigger false results also contain high sugar or fermentation. For example, kombucha is a popular fermented tea. Though it contains alcohol, the amount is so small that stores do not card you. However, if you consume kombucha and take a breath test shortly after, your BAC level would seem very high.
Even non-consumable items may impact your results. This can include things like mouthwash or gum. It can even include products worn around the mouth, like aftershave or lipstick. The most well-known items that influence BAC tests are cold and cough medicines. These can even fool blood test results, especially if you have been using the medications over an extended period of time.
This shows that BAC tests are not always as reliable as people believe. It is an important piece of information to keep in mind when confronting charges.