Police arrest Pennsylvania woman accused of driving drunk after chugging vanilla extract

ADAMS TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania — Police in Pennsylvania arrested a woman accused of driving drunk after chugging vanilla extract, KDKA reports.

The investigation began after workers with the road department reported finding bags full of empty bottles of vanilla extract. All of the bottles had an alcohol content of 35 percent or more.

So they installed a camera to catch the suspect who had been littering the area.

Police got a picture of the suspect throwing bags of vanilla extract out of her SUV, and they were able to track her down by her license plate.

Police pulled Mary Ranker, 61, over and arrested her for DUI. They say she had two bottles of vanilla extract (about 70 percent alcohol) that she was drinking from in an eight-ounce bottle, and she had five more two-ounce bottles in her vehicle.

Ranker’s blood alcohol level was 0.128 percent.

A man that lives nearby said empty bottles of vanilla extract had been dumped there for years.

“I’ve complained about it to the police, and I usually get a large garbage bag and go down every year and pick up. The most I picked up at one time was 110,” Greg Betant told KDKA. “I thought kids that could not buy alcohol (did that). I didn’t think a 61-year-old woman (would).”

Police say Ranker is a recovering alcoholic, and she felt more comfortable buying vanilla extract from the supermarket than going to the liquor store.