Monday, March 23, 2015

Can You Eat Your Way into a DWI?

In December 2014, a 75-year-old man in Wisconsin was pulled over and slapped with a DWI, his tenth. The arresting officer picked up the scent of alcohol from his mouth, which, the man explained, was because he had beer-battered cod for lunch. Breathalyzer tests returned with a BAC of 0.062, below the 0.08 limit, but prior convictions aggravated his arrest.

Dishes cooked in alcohol aren’t uncommon. With a boiling point lower than water (173 degrees), it’s commonly assumed that the alcohol will just boil away after an hour or two of simmering or baking. However, a study in 1992 found that, even past alcohol’s boiling point, as much as five percent could remain after being stirred and simmered for 2.5 hours. 

So, is it possible to eat your way into a DWI? Hannah Ewens of Vice went out of her way to answer this by eating as many liquor chocolates as she could to get drunk, and performing some activities afterward. She discovered that it’s possible for the Breathalyzer to record some traces, but people may get sick before they even reach the BAC limit. 

As for the Wisconsin man, it turned out that the beer-battered cod lunch wasn’t the whole story. According to a police report, a search of the man’s vehicle revealed an open beer can. On top of that, he was operating the vehicle with a revoked license.

People who may find themselves in such a fix should get help from an experienced DWI lawyer.

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