The murmur caused by a viral video on social media of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality traffic officers performing a sobriety test as part of training, is actually a damp squib.
Warren Prins, Head of Traffic and Licensing, assured South Africans that they will not face arrest when driving after eating hot cross buns, a traditional bun with raisins and sultana generously consumed during Easter Weekend in South Africa.
“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. The video on social media only shows 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 sample and a lung sample. The reading in the video, similar to a video taken in Australia previously, indicates a mouth sample and not a lung sample.
“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.