This week’s Viral Panic Thing on local social media is a video of a cop failing a breathalyser test after eating a hot cross bun. Is the video fake? Not exactly. Are blasphemous bakery syndicates using booze-laced hot cross buns to get kids addicted to the alcohols and Satanism? Probably not. Is there a scientific explanation and no real reason to be concerned? Yes.
Two things are important about this. One, the kind of breathalyser device used in the video is used to screen for the presence of alcohol in a person’s mouth, not in their blood. In the case of a traffic stop, this is a preliminary test, and additional testing is required to prove intoxication before an arrest can be made.
Two, this is a false positive result, and hot cross buns, sugar-free gum, energy drinks, medicines, and even some fruits can cause it – either because they contain trace amounts of otherwise inert alcohol, or because the fermentation of yeast into sugar produces ethanol, which the breathalyser would detect for about 20 minutes after ingestion.
Sorry, no. Three things.
Three, the only crime here is that this guy didn’t even have cheese on his hot cross bun.