Dad of six, 44, who drank on dessert balls with rum and raisins at friend’s party, loses driver’s license after test positive for drunk driving
- Dad eating rum balls in the car blew 0.02 on a random breath test
- P-plater was fined $ 200, lost his license for three months after eating small cakes
- Didn’t know they had real rum in them, thought it was ‘essence’
- Victorian man once blew .018 after eating a Bubble O’Bill
A father of six from Perth who gulped down too many scoops of rum and raisins lost his driver’s license for three months after testing positive for drunk driving.
Tommy Keefe, 44, from the small town of Northam, Western Australia, went to a friend’s birthday in Perth in August, but didn’t touch anything.
The P-plater was leaving to drive back to his hotel when a friend gave him a plate of tasty brown rum balls to take away.
Tommy Keefe ate some more rum and raisin balls while he told his story on Saturday
The father of six said he was unaware that the rum-and-raisin balls (photo: stock image) were drenched in alcohol. He thought they were flavored with essence
He couldn’t wait to eat them, so he stopped while he was driving.
When the police cited him for a breath test, he was unafraid because he hadn’t been drinking alcohol.
To his dismay, he blew 0.02, well above the legal alcohol limit of zero for a P plater in Western Australia.
A Victorian man blew .018 after eating a Bubble O’Bill ice cream (photo)
“Cakes are cakes, who is going to question cakes?” he told Nine News Perth in disbelief.
“I’ve had enough rum balls and they aren’t cooked with rum, it’s like essence or something.”
Mr. Keefe, originally from New Zealand, said he had never been charged with an alcohol-related crime before and that it was a genuine mistake.
The sweet yet powerful treat could have cost him his license for nine months, but the Perth Magistrate’s Court took pity on him.
“I was looking at a nine-month suspension, which he reduced to three months and gave me the minimum of fines, for which I am very grateful to the judge.”
Mr. Keefe got his license suspended for three months and was fined $ 200.
Rum balls aren’t the only treat that makes you unexpectedly ‘guilty’ of drunk driving.
The innocent Bubble O’Bill ice cream once caused a breathalyzer to record a blood alcohol content of 0.018.
A man told a Victorian magistrate in 2009 that he had nothing to drink and that the ice turned him over
The Frankston Magistrates’ Court then ordered him to buy and eat the ice cream to test his claim.
After a few bites, the man blew a blood alcohol level of 0.018.
Tommy Keefe lost his license for three months, even though a doctor says he is unlikely to have a detectable blood alcohol level. The breathalyzer is only an indication for blood alcohol
It prompted Victoria’s then-assistant police commissioner Ken Lay to warn drivers that they could take erroneous readings without consuming alcohol.
“We are aware that a whole host of foods, drinks, toothpastes, mouthwashes and the like can affect our preliminary breath tests and also locking devices,” he told radio 3AW at the time.
Sydney Criminal Lawyers warn on their blog that alcohol from mouthwash and cough medicines can also be temporarily detected in your breathing – but only for about 15 minutes or so.
Doctor Joe Kosterich told Nine it was unlikely there had been such a case before, but people should be careful when eating alcohol-infused foods.
Since a breath test is only an indication of blood alcohol levels, it is likely that Mr. Keefe would have had an undetectable blood alcohol level, said Dr. Kosterich.
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