Common Items That Cause Incorrect BAC Readings in MN
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Category: DWI/DUI

Minneapolis DWI Defense Attorney



Are you aware that items other than alcohol can trigger positive breathalyzer tests? It’s possible to be charged with a DWI in Minnesota simply by eating certain foods or exposing yourself to common household items.


In this post, we’ll tell you the types of common substances that can mistakenly show up as alcohol on a breathalyzer test, and how we can help you get your DWI charges reduced or dismissed.


Vanilla Extract


When consumed in large quantities, vanilla extract can produce a positive breathalyzer test reading. In its raw form, vanilla extract has a 35 percent alcohol content, which is comparable to certain liquors. Drink enough of it, and you can become legally intoxicated.


Honey Buns


Honey buns have been known to produce breathalyzer readings of 0.015 breath alcohol concentration (BAC) without any prior alcohol consumption. Eat enough honey buns, and you could receive a false positive result on your breathalyzer test.


White Bread


Similar to a honey bun, a single slice of white bread can produce a BAC reading of 0.018. You’d have to eat several slices to reach the legal limit of 0.08 BAC, but it’s good to know that too much white bread can produce skewed test results.


Main Dishes


If a main dish is cooked with alcohol, some of the alcohol will remain behind and could show up on a breathalyzer test. The longer a meat or main dish is simmered, the less alcohol remains.


Depending on various cooking factors, you could potentially have a positive breathalyzer result from the following main dishes:


  • Soup or chili made with beer or wine
  • Chicken Marsala
  • Chicken Piccata
  • Meats in alcohol- or wine-based sauces or glazes
  • Many Risotto dishes


It’s wise to know that these foods could potentially affect your breathalyzer readings.


Beer-based Foods


Many people like adding beer to their dishes. Beer is commonly added to chili, stews, soups, and bread. The alcohol in beer may not completely evaporate during the cooking process. It could potentially show up in a BAC test.


Flambé Dishes


Certain savory and sweet dishes are prepared with alcohol that is lit at the end. Think baked Alaska, bananas foster, and some Asian stir-fry dishes. The alcohol that doesn’t burn off in the flame remains in the sauce and could show up on a breathalyzer test.





Some desserts are not baked, which means if they contain any alcohol, it is in its full strength. Examples of desserts with alcohol include candies filled with liquor or rum, mousse with crème de menthe or crème de cacao, cakes brushed with alcohol, and any frozen desserts that use alcohol.




Check your mouthwash label. Some brands have up to a 25 percent alcohol content. It’s easy to switch to an alcohol-free mouthwash that won’t show up on a breathalyzer test. You can avoid this problem simply by switching brands.




When you have a bad cold, you may turn to NyQuil for relief. This popular cough and cold syrup may help you get a good night’s sleep, but it also has a high alcohol content. You could face DWI charges simply for trying to get over your cold, so be sure to stay off the roads when you’re taking NyQuil.


Facing a DWI Charge in Minnesota?


If you are facing a DWI charge in Minnesota for the wrong kind of substance, your case may be thrown out of court with the help of a knowledgeable Minnesota DWI attorney.


Your attorney will work to gather evidence about what foods and drinks you consumed prior to the arrest. You will also be asked to provide information about any other substances, such as mouthwash or cough syrups, that your attorney can evaluate to see if your charges can be reduced or dropped.


Remember that breathalyzer tests are notoriously inaccurate. They must be properly calibrated to produce accurate results. They are sometimes oversensitive and can pick up on the items listed above. Even a burp right before your test can throw off your results. However, if your attorney can prove that the breathalyzer produced a false reading, your risk of conviction will significantly decrease.



We can also contest the police report. If the arresting officer did not correctly perform the breathalyzer test, or if he or she did not repeat the test several times, it may be possible to get the results dismissed.


As soon as charges are filed against you, contact an experienced Minnesota DWI attorney for help. We will build a solid defense to your charges. Call today for your free case review.





About the Author:

Christopher Keyser is a Minneapolis-based criminal and DWI defense attorney known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge, and recognized as a Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014–2015), a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013–2015), and a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney (2013–2015).

If You Need a Top Minnesota Criminal Lawyer Call 312-338-5007



With offices in Minneapolis and Stillwater, Minnesota, Keyser Law, P.A. handles cases throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area including:




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