BUTLER (KDKA) – A Butler County woman facing DUI and littering charges after allegedly drinking vanilla extract and leaving the bottles behind appeared in court Wednesday.
Mary Ranker, 61, was held for trial on only the DUI charge.
However, the court ruled that there was not enough evidence to pursue a littering case against Ranker.
Ranker was charged after workers with the Adams Township road department kept finding bags full of empty vanilla extract bottles with an alcohol content of 35 percent or more.
Officials put up a trail camera, which gave police a description of an SUV and a partial license plate number.
Police eventually spotted Ranker’s vehicle and pulled her over.
“I believe the sergeant was out one day, and he observed the car,” Scanlon said. “He made a traffic stop and subsequently arrested the woman for DUI.”
During that interaction, police say Ranker said she had two vanillas, about 70 proof alcohol that she was drinking from an 8-ounce bottle. She also had five more 2-ounce bottles in her car.
Ranker’s blood alcohol level was 0.128 percent. Police say Ranker is a recovering alcoholic who felt more comfortable buying vanilla extract from the supermarket than going to the liquor store.
As for the littering charge, the trail camera photos did not fully show the vehicle’s license plate and did not specifically show Ranker at the scene.