City set record straight on hot cross buns video

2019-04-17 17:07
Screen grab of a viral video depicting a traffic official eating hot cross buns before taking a breathalyser test.

Screen grab of a viral video depicting a traffic official eating hot cross buns before taking a breathalyser test.

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Following a video making the rounds on social media claiming that the consumption of hot cross buns can give a false reading on the breathalyser, the City of Cape Town has set the record straight.

The video shows an "officer" taking a breathalyser test before eating a hot cross bun. The test showed a reading of 0.00. A second test read 0.21 after the same officer ate a hot cross bun.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security says while they do not know the origin of the video, they are aware that this issue raised in Australia. 

"It must also be noted that the device used in the video is only a hand-held screening device and that the proper breath test which is submitted to court is done with a far more sophisticated machine," says Smith.

Yeast converts sugar into carbon dioxide and ethanol. Ethanol is detected by a breathalyser.

"The reading will only apply immediately after eating the food. And, while such a reading would probably be correct, the reality is that, if checked 10 minutes later, the reading will likely revert to zero. We would like to put the public’s mind at ease by reminding everyone that a handheld breathalyser is not the only means used to determine sobriety,” he says.

Smith adds: "Officers are also trained to observe the behaviour of a motorist, including their speech and ability to walk or remain upright. Also, to confirm that a motorist is under the influence, an evidentiary breath sample using a prescribed Evidentiary Breath Analyser Equipment (EBAE) device is required, or alternatively a blood sample. These are the only means of evidence that can be presented in a court of law."


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