Woman Receives DWI Arrest for Drinking Pure Vanilla Extract

You know you have a problem when …

You drink vanilla extract to get your buzz on, and then take your car out for a spin before being handed a DWI arrest. A woman in upstate New York was charged with felony DWI after downing two small bottles of pure vanilla extract, according to WayneTimes.com. In case you did not know (and why would you?), drinking pure vanilla extract is actually on par with drinking something like vodka. Pure vanilla extract proof tends to be about 82, or 41 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Even though the woman was very much aware of what happens when you get a DUI (she was convicted of one in 2006), she decided to take her car for a joy ride anyway. She was also charged with felony aggravated DWI, as this was her second DWI charge in a relatively short period of time.

Police arrested the woman in a Walmart parking lot on Jan. 5 after recording a BAC of .26 percent. She was stopped by law enforcement after some reckless driving in the lot. She informed police that she was lost and could not find her way out. Her vehicle had visible damage to the front and undercarriage.

Apparently this is not an isolated incident. There have been other cases reported of people drinking extracts in order to reach a level of inebriation while simultaneously masking the smell of the alcohol. However, most of the extract cases have involved underage drinking, not adults.

“Both kids and adults use it. It smells like a vanilla drink (vanilla Coke, or Pepsi) and no one would know the difference,” Wayne County drug counselor Chris Thomas said.

Household Products That Contain Alcohol

The high amount of alcohol in vanilla extract can be dangerous, but there are other household products with even higher ABV levels. Other pure extracts like peppermint and lemon contain 89 percent (178 proof) and 83 percent (166 proof) alcohol, respectively. People have even been known to ingest products like mouthwash (22% alcohol) and hand sanitizer (63% alcohol).

Arrested for Drunk Driving?

If you have been arrested and charged with drunk driving in New Jersey, contact a DWI lawyer today.