Pennsylvanian officers use tests to find the blood alcohol content (BAC) level of suspected drunk drivers. Though these tests are largely accurate, they still have their weaknesses. For example, you may have heard rumors that certain foods or drinks can trigger a false positive. Is this true?
According to IFL Science, non-alcoholic consumables can affect your BAC level. Your breakfast can, in fact, affect your BAC level. The foods that trigger false positives may not be what you expect, either. Some examples can include:
- Macadamia nuts
- White breads and cinnamon rolls
- Ripe fruits
A case in which a Chinese man blew over the limit after eating durian fruit rocketed this into the eye of the public. The reason these items trigger high results is because of the fermentation. White breads have fermented yeast. Ripe fruits also have a natural fermentation that is stronger in some fruits than others. While none of these goods are able to get you drunk, they are enough to give you a high “mouth alcohol” level. This is what breath tests will read.
Non-food items can also trigger false positives. This includes cold and cough medicine, some of the most well-known triggers of false BAC readings. It even includes products used in or around the mouth such as mouthwash, gum or aftershave.
It is important to keep in mind how sensitive breath tests are. There may be a reason outside of alcohol that a person is blowing a high BAC level. They may be telling the truth when they say they have only eaten breakfast.