Foods that Can Falsely Trip Your Ignition Interlock Device


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If you are required to use an ignition interlock device (IID) – or any similar device – as a result of a DWI charge, it is important to be on top of your game. Chances are that you have no intention of driving under the influence of alcohol while behind the wheel, but there are other factors to consider. There are foods, drinks, and products that can leave enough alcohol in your mouth to trip these alcohol-detection systems – and upend your efforts to comply with the law in the process. Knowing the most obvious culprits can help you assiduously avoid them before you get behind the wheel.


Mouthwash can be more than 25 percent alcohol (or 50 proof), and because you gargle this liquid in your mouth for a considerable length of time, it can trip your IID before you think twice about your oral hygiene routine. There are alcohol-free mouthwashes on the market, and they are a far better option for people trying to avoid alcohol.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract is used in a wide variety of delicious baked goods, coffee drinks, whipped toppings, and more – but it also happens to contain a very high percentage of alcohol. If you like to sneak cookie dough, to eat freshly baked delicacies, or to imbibe in a frappe or two before getting behind the wheel, it could lead to a false positive on your IID.

Kombucha Tea

Kombucha tea is a health-food favorite, but many devotees do not realize that the beverage contains trace amounts of alcohol, which is identified on the labeling. While this trace amount is not enough to leave you intoxicated, it can leave enough alcohol in your mouth to cause you to blow a positive reading.

Energy and Fruit Drinks

You learned it in high school chemistry – the fermentation of fruit is a common source of alcohol. The grapes used to make most wines are a great example. Some fruit juices undergo just enough fermentation to leave an alcohol presence in your mouth. Further, energy drinks – even those that tout themselves as alcohol-free – can contain small concentrations of alcohol.

Your Due Diligence

If you are living with an IID – or its equivalent – do yourself a favor and avoid false dings on the device by implementing all of the following precautions:

  • Wait at least 15 minutes after ingesting or using any of the above products before blowing into the device.
  • Remember that the alcohol is in your mouth only – there is not enough in your system to affect you – so rinse your mouth thoroughly before providing a reading.
  • Read your labels – alcohol can be hiding in surprising places, including cough medicine.

Consult with an Experienced Lawyer Today

Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a formidable criminal defense lawyer with an impressive record of success helping clients like you. Your case matters, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.

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