'Relax - hot cross bun will not make you drunk'

A video has been doing the rounds on social media showing that eating a hot cross bun could affect the reading on a breathalyzer. Western Cape MMC for safety JP Smith said the incorrect reading on the alcohol tester would only apply immediately after eating the food.

Relax and enjoy your hot cross buns – eating the Easter mainstay will not land you in jail!

Nelson Mandela Bay traffic chief Warren Prins has moved to quell widespread panic after a video purportedly showing how people could get “drunk” after consuming hot cross buns, went viral.

The video shows a traffic officer recording an alcohol reading in a breathalyser test after biting into the Easter treat, but Prins said the video was the first draft of a training video.

In the almost two-minute-long cellphone recording, the officer can be seen blowing into a breathalyser which records a zero reading, but after taking about three bites of the hot cross bun, the device shows a reading of 0.21.

Prins explains:  “A hot cross bun has raisins, sultanas and yeast that ferments when consumed.

"When a breathalyser test is done immediately after eating a bun, it will register a high alcohol level due to the effects of all these elements on the breath content. However, when a test is taken a minute later, it will again register a reading of 0.00.”

He said the video on social media only showed the first part of a test “to illustrate the variables officers must be aware of when testing citizens with a breathalyser apparatus”.

“The video is the first draft of a training video. It is intended to illustrate the difference between a mouth  and a lung sample. The reading in the video, similar to a previous video taken in Australia, indicates a mouth sample and not a lung sample,” Prins said.

“The screening device used in the video detected an alcohol reading from the mouth as it is designed to pick up any small trace amounts of alcohol. For instance, if you slosh alcohol in your mouth, it will register on the screening device, even if you did not ingest any of the alcohol.

“Motorists should therefore not be alarmed as the tests conducted by law enforcement officials must be done in line with law enforcement official prosecutorial guidelines which necessitates a blood sample.

“Please enjoy your hot cross buns and pickled fish, but be mindful that we will be out in full force to deal with anyone transgressing our traffic laws this Easter weekend,” Prins warned.

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