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Aunt Amy’s chocolate chip cookies and your breathalyzer test

Posted on July 27, 2020

On the way home from a celebration for your cousin and his new job, a police officer pulled you over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. 

You had a glass of wine with your steak dinner and your Aunt Amy’s chocolate chip cookies for dessert. How will all this affect your breath test? 

The Express Consent Law

Anyone licensed to drive in the state of Colorado is subject to the Express Consent Law. This means that if law enforcement suspects you of DUI, you automatically consent to submit to a chemical test, which means the Intoxilyzer, or breath test. You can refuse to take this test, but by doing so you stand to lose your driving privileges for one year. You would also earn the Persistent Drunk Driver designation, which means you will have to enter an alcohol and drug education and treatment program. 

What you ate

Your aunt uses vanilla extract in her family-favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and vanilla contains some alcohol. A sheet of cookies is usually baked for about 15 minutes and those cookies will retain 40% of their alcohol content. You also had marinated steak. Red wine was among the ingredients in the marinade and about 70% of the alcohol content remained after cooking. 

A low BAC

You were wise to have something to eat along with your glass of wine, even though some of the ingredients in the foods you had for dinner, including those chocolate chip cookies, contained a little alcohol. If you also drank several glasses of water, so much the better. To have a lower blood alcohol content level, you should not exceed one standard drink per hour, and adding water to the mix helps to rid your body of alcohol faster. Going forward, you can expect a defense strategy to include a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding that DUI charge. If your breathalyzer test shows a BAC that is higher than you expect, remember that the test results are estimates and not always reliable.