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92 posts

Master Geek
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# 82782 5-May-2011 18:42
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Drivers aged under 20 years old will have a zero BAC limit by next year:

If I remember correctly some foods have traces of alcohol in them. What are these foods and will it be detected by a breathalyzer?

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2186 posts

Uber Geek


  # 465899 5-May-2011 18:56
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You actually have nothing to worry about if you're not driving drunk.

The initial test (say your name, etc) simply detects if there is alcohol present , and there are all sorts of things now
that will set it off, like cough mixtures, your drunk passengers in the car - they're designed to be sensitive.

The next test (blow through the tube at the roadside) detetcts if there is alcohol in your body which will always
come back with 'PASS' if you haven't actually consumed any alcohol.

My guess is that the devices will need to be recalibrated once the law comes in so that if there is any alcohol
in your system it will come back with a 'FAIL YOUTH' result. At the moment this result is displayed if the device
detects you've consumed enough alcohol to be over the current youth limit, but the next test at a police station or
booze bus gives the definitive answer.

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  # 465918 5-May-2011 19:15
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IME, the stick in the window one is so insensitive that you have to be trolleyed to set it off.



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Ultimate Geek

  # 465990 5-May-2011 22:56
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I would imagine you have nothing to worry about.

Look at it like this (aside from the other points raised above me): Assuming your food has trace levels of alcohol in it, parts per million, and it takes you 1 hour for your liver to process a standard drink (10g alcohol). Your body would have processed it long before you get breath tested & I very much doubt the testing equipment is that sensitive anyway.

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Ultimate Geek

  # 465999 5-May-2011 23:21
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bnapi: Drivers aged under 20 years old will have a zero BAC limit by next year:

If I remember correctly some foods have traces of alcohol in them. What are these foods and will it be detected by a breathalyzer?

One I've noticed that I thought was interesting was the Watties Wok Creations sauces...

Chances are, that for a lot of the products that include alcohol content, that most of it is burnt off during the cooking process.  Some mouthwashes are also alcohol based so there is going to be a few things that could set it off if the tests were really strict, but I think there has to be some tolerance for traces.  NZTA might be able to comment on that though, because there is already a 0 policy for Under 18s.

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Uber Geek


  # 466046 6-May-2011 09:17
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Aftershave/perfume, hand sanitizer and natural vanilla essence.

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  # 466048 6-May-2011 09:25
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Most alcohol in food is gone after cooking. You shouldn't drink vanilla essence out of the small bottles ;)

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Uber Geek

  # 466051 6-May-2011 09:26
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You dont need to worry about aftershave, etc. The breathalysers measure one of the bodies metabolites of alcohol rather than alcohol itself. This metabolite is mostly excreted via the lungs. This makes it a much more realiable measure of how much is in your system rather than just in your mouth and also makes it harder to fake your way through. Theoretically you could spit (your first) mouthful of vodka into it and you would pass...

Vanilla essence and other such things are consumed in such minute quanitites that it is also a non-issue.

If you'd just eaten a brandy soaked christmas pudding or some other food that contains non-cooked alcohol then perhaps it would register but the evidential breath test (the one that actually measures the level) should clear you


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Master Geek
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  # 467757 10-May-2011 22:06
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Just found this:

"Would a zero limit mean that someone could fail a breath test because of substances like mouth wash that contain small amounts of alcohol?
Testing devices will be calibrated so substances like mouthwash do not produce a positive result. "

So it looks like current testing devices DO currently detect mouthwash. See how it says 'devices' which I think means those portable machines and the machines at the cop station. I wonder what they mean by 'calibrated' because if they don't fix the problem alot of people could use the defence of "it is my mouthwash" in court.

"What will happen if a young person is found to have a BAC between 0.00 and 0.03?
They will receive an infringement. This will be an infringement fee of $200 and 50 demerit points."

Phew glad it's only a fine and demerit points.

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Uber Geek


  # 467766 10-May-2011 22:34
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Still gonna have to tell the insurance of it as it has demerits, and that means denial or excess and premium increases.


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Master Geek

  # 467990 11-May-2011 16:58
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"Evidential breath test, blood test or both."
If you haven't been drinking and fail the evidential breath test (ie, not the roadside test), then request a blood test.

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