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Ice Cream Causes Positive Alcohol Reading

If this hadn’t happened in a court I probably wouldn’t believe it.

A Victorian man faced the Magistrates’ Court, accused of driving with a positive blood alcohol reading.  The man claimed that the reading was the result of eating a “Bubble O’ Bill” [^] ice-cream, when he stopped to fill his car at a service station.

Streets Bubble O Bill

The magistrate was sceptical, and demanded that the man prove the claim, so the defendant was forced to leave the court and buy  the offending food.  Prior to eating the ice cream in court the man returned a negative breath test.  After eating part of the ice cream the police administered the test again and returned a reading of 0.018.

It seems that the accused man had disabled an alcohol interlock device in his car.  The device is generally a requirement for drivers regaining their license after a drink-drive conviction, and prevents the car being started unless a negative breath test is registered. 

The man had allegedly disabled the device because of the positive reading that it had returned.  It is well known that breath-testing units can return a positive reading for a number of foods and drink that do not contain alcohol, and it is recommended that no foods be consumed for 15 minutes prior to using the interlock (Assistant Commisioner Ken Lay [^]).

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