Navigating life after a DWI conviction can be tricky. You don’t want to end up getting your license taken away just because you were chewing gum or eating a honey bun before your alcohol test.

If you’ve been issued an ignition interlock system for a DWI, here you’ll find a list of food or drinks that may contain traces of alcohol and how to avoid failing alcohol testing.

Ignition Interlock for Alcohol Testing

After receiving a DWI, one of the options for individuals to retain their driver’s license is to have an ignition interlock system alcohol testing device installed that requires the driver of the car to blow into it in order for the vehicle to start.

This device also requires periodic retesting in order for the vehicle to remain running. Some devices will not necessarily shut down the vehicle if an individual fails to retest, but the device will record a failing test and the results will be forwarded to the proper monitoring authorities.


How to Avoid Failing Ignition Interlock Alcohol Testing

In order to avoid any difficulties or problems with the testing device, it is important to provide accurate test results and be mindful of consuming any food or drinks that may contain traces of alcohol that would render a failing test. In order to do this, an individual should:

(1) Know any and all ingredients of foods, drinks, or medicines they may take

(2) Don’t eat or drink anything five minutes before testing

(3) Clean out their mouth by rinsing with water before testing

(4) Make sure their vehicle is properly ventilated in order to prevent any fumes from alcohol that may prevent a proper test.


Lowest Alcohol Detection In the Country

Additionally, in North Carolina, the devices used for testing have the alcohol detection rates set lower than any other jurisdiction in the country. Because of this, it’s important to follow the steps listed above and avoid any of the following items which may contain trace amounts of alcohol:

  • Mouthwash
  • Honey buns
  • Hot sauces
  • Sugarless gums (alcohol is a sweetener)
  • Inhalers
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Anti­bacterial soap
  • Household cleaning products (bleach, dish washing soap, glue, laundry detergent, air fresheners)
  • Windshield wiper fluid
  • Energy drinks
  • Protein Bars
  • Vitamins
  • “Alcohol free” beer or wine
  • Foods cooked with or contained with alcohol
  • Hygiene products (deodorant sprays, after shave, perfume, body sprays, toothpaste, cosmetics, skin applicants, mouthwash, insect repellent)
  • Medicines (suppressants, decongestants, antihistamines, sleeping aids, etc.)
  • Ripe fruit
  • Fermented soda drinks
  • Chewing tobacco/dip (fruit flavors)
  • Over the counter/prescription drugs (consult pharmacist)


Although this is a large list, this is by no means a comprehensive list of all the different foods, drinks, or medicines that may contain traces of alcohol. If you are in doubt about whether an item may contain trace amounts of alcohol that could cause you to fail a test, do not eat, drink, or ingest that item.

What To Do If You Fail A Test Due To Accidentally Ingesting Alcohol

If you have run into trouble by failing an alcohol test due to traces amounts of alcohol from a food, drink, or medicine, don’t hesitate to Contact Us at Minick Law in order to set up a free consultation to determine how we can help you resolve your case.

I Need A Lawyer For: DWI  •  Personal Injury  •  Criminal Law Car Accidents  •  Family Law  •  Worker’s Compensation

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