Macedon, New York police arrested Carolyn Kesel last week after she was found driving erratically around a Walmart parking lot. To explain her .26% BAC (or more than three times the legal limit), Kesel told police she downed two bottles of vanilla extract.
Kesel, 46, from Seneca Falls, apparently told police she had gotten lost trying to find her way home, and wound up at a Walmart 20 miles in the opposite direction instead. (Probably because she was drunk on 'tract.)
According to Syracuse.com, Each of the hand-sized bottles of vanilla extract police found had an alcohol content of 41 percent— the Times of Wayne County compared the common baking ingredient to vodka or gin:
Surprised by the alcohol content of pure vanilla extract? Other spice rack products are even worse. Pure peppermint extract contains 89% alcohol and pure lemon extract is 83%. The imitation varieties of these products are usually lower, but still contain alcohol. (Imitation vanilla extract has about 17% alcohol, imitation lemon about 34% and imitation peppermint, about 62%).
Richard Stevens, Wayne County's Probation/Correctional Director, and someone you would think should know these things, was shocked by this arrest. "I didn't know that," he told the Times of Wayne County. "This blows me away. How can they sell that stuff in grocery stores."
Kesel was charged by police with felony DWI and felony aggravated DWI.