The Kombucha Defense for Mississippi DUIs

Alcohol isn’t the only substance that can raise your BAC level. All kinds of other beverages, foods, and medications may also trigger a BAC reading – even if you never consumed any alcohol. In certain situations, this can lead to a false positive BAC result and serious consequences. One example is kombucha, a fermented beverage that could create the impression that you are intoxicated. But is the “kombucha defense” really viable? How do you prove that your BAC result was triggered by fermented foods and not alcohol? These are questions you can ask one of our lawyers during your free consultation. 

Why Kombucha Can Trigger Positive BAC Results

To be clear, the average person would need to drink an excessive amount of kombucha to trigger a BAC result even close to normal illegal levels. The average bottle of kombucha contains less than 0.5% alcohol, making it roughly 10 times less powerful than a bottle of beer. However, various factors could make a problematic BAC result more likely after drinking kombucha. 

First, the DUI defendant might be very small, with a low weight. This increases the chances of a high BAC level, even with a small amount of kombucha. Secondly, the DUI defendant may have spent the entire day drinking multiple bottles of kombucha. In theory, this could increase BAC levels to above 0.04. The chances of blowing a BAC of over 0.08 after drinking only kombucha are very low. However, one might encounter problems after combining a relatively low amount of alcohol and a few additional bottles of kombucha.

According to some reports, false BAC results are more likely if defendants drink kombucha bottles very quickly. For example, you might swig an entire 16-ounce bottle of kombucha within a few seconds. If police ask you to blow into a Breathalyzer a few minutes later, the chances of failing could be surprisingly high. 

Even a Low BAC Can Cause Legal Issues

While it might be nearly impossible to reach a BAC level of 0.08 after drinking only kombucha, lower levels are certainly within the realm of possibility. For example, a trucker might reach a BAC level of 0.04 after drinking five or six bottles of kombucha within a single 12-hour shift. Perhaps the trucker purchased a whole case of these bottles and kept them in their cab – gradually drinking them over many hours. If you hold a CDL (commercial driver’s license), a BAC level of 0.04 can trigger DUI charges. It may therefore be necessary to prove that you were drinking kombucha and not any alcoholic substances. 

Another relevant situation involves underage drivers. Due to Mississippi’s Zero Tolerance rules, it is illegal for anyone under 21 to have even a small amount of alcohol in their system. Theoretically, a driver under 21 could face charges for having a BAC level of just 0.02. In this situation, the chances of false BAC results are quite high – and they can easily be influenced by kombucha. 

Of course, kombucha is not the only substance that can trigger false BAC results. In general, any fermented food or drink can cause false results. These include:

  • Energy drinks
  • Vinegar
  • Fermented bread
  • Sweet foods
  • Certain juices
  • Kim-chi
  • Certain extracts
  • Spicy foods

In addition, certain medications and hygienic products can trigger false BAC results, including:

  • Mouthwash
  • Cold medications
  • NyQuil
  • Oral gels
  • Antihistamines
  • Antibiotics
  • Pain medication

How Do You Prove That Something Else Caused Your BAC Result?

An experienced DUI defense lawyer can help you prove that your BAC result was caused by something other than alcohol. You might point to various evidence, including an empty bottle of kombucha in your car or truck. You might also present receipts or credit card statements that prove you purchased your kombucha shortly before the traffic stop. 

You should know that you may not be under any obligation to submit to a breath test if police lack probable cause. You can refuse to participate in preliminary breath tests, Breathalyzer tests, and other forms of testing. Speak with an experienced DUI lawyer to learn more about your rights during a Mississippi traffic stop. 

Contact Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. Today

If you’re serious about pursuing positive results, contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer in Mississippi. With help from Vic Carmody Jr., P.A., you can execute a defense strategy that meets your unique requirements. Although the so-called “kombucha defense” is certainly interesting, it is highly situational and will likely not apply to the vast majority of DUI cases. However, it shows how creative some defense strategies can be – especially when you work alongside an experienced defense lawyer. Book your consultation today to continue this discussion in more detail. 

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