Monday, January 12, 2015

Woman charged with DUI after driving erratically around Walmart parking lot drunk on VANILLA EXTRACT ~ Call Michael A. Haber, Esq. @ **ARRESTED or **MIAMIDUI

Meet 46 y/o Carolyn Kessel:  That's her below...

Carolyn was arrested for DUI in Macedon, NY after being observed driving erratically around a Walmart parking lot.

When the cops stopped her she claimed that she had gotten lost while trying to get home to Seneca Falls from Lyons, NY.  However, sadly for Carolyn she was in Macedon, which is about 20 miles in the opposite direction.

Cops ultimately breath tested her and she registered a BAC of .26 (3+x the legal limit of .08).  When asked what she was drinking cops were surprised to find out that Carolyn had been sipping "pure vanilla extract".

Yup, "pure vanilla extract".... which has 41% alcohol, pretty much the same alcohol content as most booze (its 82 proof).   As it turns out (per "Taste of Home"):  

Extracts are a derivative of the essential flavorings or oils of fruits, herbs or nuts. The oil itself may be too intensely flavored to use on its own, so it is often diluted in a solvent, which is usually alcohol. Different flavors require various alcohol levels to produce the desired results. Natural vanilla flavoring is extracted from vanilla beans, the fruit pods of tropical vines that are part of the orchid family. Surprisingly, both the flower and the ripe bean lack the characteristic vanilla aroma that most of us are so fond of. The flavor of vanilla extract is created by the curing (that takes up to 6 months) and processing of the beans. Pure vanilla extract contains a defined level of natural vanilla and a minimum of 35% alcohol, by FDA standards. Imitation vanilla extracts are made with synthetic vanilla, called vanillin, a manufactured flavor that replicates the natural vanilla flavoring agent. More economical than pure vanilla extract, it contains about 35% alcohol. You might also find vanilla flavoring at your grocery store. It contains less alcohol and less natural and/or artificial vanillin than imitation vanilla extract. Alcohol-free vanilla flavor is available in many health food stores. This flavoring typically contains glycerin instead of alcohol as the main liquid component. Regarding your concerns about medication interacting with alcohol, I suggest you talk to your doctor. Extracts typically are used in very small amounts and most of the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process. Some medications, however, may be affected in an adverse way by even such a small amount of alcohol.

Apparently alcohol is used as a vehicle in many flavorings, vanilla being a notable example as it is a very good solvent.  The relatively high alcohol content keeps things from going bad too quickly, which is good as most people leave an opened bottle sitting around on a shelf for months if not years, usually not under the best conditions, so some sort of preservative is needed.  And apparently, yes, you can get drunk from vanilla extract... if you're desperate enough.  Try taking a swig of the stuff and you'll see that the small amount you mix in your chocolate chip cookies will give the batter a pleasant flavor, but straight down the hatch it tastes amazingly disgusting.  

Further research led to the discovery that, i"The Egg and I", a memoir by Betty McDonald about her adventures and travels as a young wife on a chicken farm in Washington State she wrote about the lumberjacks who used to break into the camp kitchen and steal the vanilla extract to get drunk. Per Mrs. McDonald this is why there was a switch to artificial vanilla, which is non-alcoholic. However, she insists that those crazy lumberjacks still broke in, and that they still got drunk.

When it comes to the subject of drinking and driving, the best advice that you are ever going to hear is:  "Don't do it!  Get a DD (Designated Driver), not a DUI".

Be smart{er than Joseph Maine}: Don't drink and drive, but, if you do, just say "NO{thing}", don't blow (in FL your 2nd subsequent refusal is a crime) and call me stat at 305-381-8686, 305-798-2220, **ARRESTED, **MIAMIDUI, **MIAMILAW or **HABERLAW.

Michael A. Haber, P.A.: Providing creative, effective and zealous criminal defense litigation services primarily in SoFlo since 1991.

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "Its all about reasonable doubt"! 

Michael A. Haber, Esq. is prepared to speak with you about your case!


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