When you hear the stories about individuals who were caught driving under the influence, most people would assume that the driver had been drinking alcohol (like vodka or gin) earlier that day. However, if you made this guess in the case of Carolyn Kesel of Macedon, NY , you would be wrong. Ever heard of needing a Houston DWI Attorney, actually, in this case it would be a Macedon attorney, for a case of drinking too much vanilla extract?
Recently, the 46-year-old woman was pulled over for erratically driving around a Wal-Mart parking lot. When questioned by officers, she told them that she drank two bottles of vanilla extract. You read that right, she got drunk off of the same vanilla extract that can be found at the grocery store or your mom’s pantry.
When Kesel was given a Breathalyzer test, it showed that she had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.26 percent. This is more than three times the legal limit in New York. While this seems impossible, it should be noted that vanilla extract contains an alcohol level of a whopping 41 percent. In fact, the astonishing level of alcohol that these products contain can easily rival those found in both gin and vodka. But that’s not all, peppermint and orange extracts have alcohol levels that exceed 80%, making them at least 160 proof. In other words, these extracts contain a level of alcohol that you would be hard-pressed to find in a liquor store. Yet, these sweet smelling, flavor-enhancing products can easily be found by simply taking a stroll down the baking aisle in most grocery stores around the nation.
With this news comes the frightening information that more people are using drink flavored extracts to mask their alcohol consumption, especially alcoholics. Its highly aromatic scent effectively hides the smell of alcohol, which makes it easier to deceive police and other individuals. Another surprising fact about extracts is that underage kids are also using this method to get a buzz.
With all of the negative information floating around about extracts, it makes it hard to believe that grocery stores continue to sell these in their stores without any security measures. While they do jazz up the flavors in many of our favorite foods, should extracts be readily available to anyone and for such a minimal price? In fact, extracts are so inexpensive that kids can easily purchase them with their allowances.
The easy access that we have to these products becomes increasingly troubling when you consider that the sale of other mind altering products like cough syrup, spray paints, and keyboard duster spray are feverishly monitored so that the general public does not abuse them.
Kesel, who has a prior DUI conviction, was arraigned and set to jail on a $20,000 bond.