Skip to main content
Resource Center

What foods and drinks can cause you to fail your interlock test?

If you are convicted of DUI in Virginia, your driver’s license will be suspended. To get your driving privileges back before your suspension ends, you will have to pay to put an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

This device gets attached to the ignition and resembles a breathalyzer machine. Before you can start the engine, you must blow into the tube. The ignition interlock then measures the blood-alcohol content on your breath. If it detects anything more than a trace amount of alcohol, it will not let you start the car. In Virginia, the device will also periodically have you retest your breath during a trip to check if you have drunk alcohol since starting out.

‘Impaired’ by cake or pasta?

You have probably heard of ignition interlocks before. What you might not know is how easy it is to register a false positive on one of them. That is because a wide range of foods, dishes and medications can make alcohol appear on your breath without actually getting you drunk. These include:

  • Any baked goods containing a significant amount of vanilla extract or yeast
  • Pasta with vodka sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Non-alcoholic wine and beer
  • Energy drinks
  • Baked goods with alcohol in them, such as rum cake

In addition, breath fresheners like mouthwash and breath spray can add alcohol to your breath even though you do not swallow them. Some cold and cough medications can cause a false positive, too.

Thus, eating a meal before driving someplace can be a hassle if you are not careful, especially if you dined at a restaurant or party and don’t know what the ingredients were. Rinsing your mouth with water can help, as can waiting at least 15 minutes after eating or drinking before trying to use the ignition interlock.

Fight for a just outcome to your case

An ignition interlock violation can cause a litany of new issues, from revocation of restricted driving privileges to the imposition of suspended jail time the underlying DUI. Don’t let a false positive set you back! If you’ve been accused of an interlock violation, call the experienced defense attorneys at Randall & Bruch, PC, today for a free consultation.

jack t randall

Written By Jack T. Randall


As lifelong resident of Western Tidewater, Jack Randall is a local attorney who wants the best results for his clients. He is an experienced and aggressive attorney with focus on family law, criminal and traffic law, as well as personal injury law cases.