Roadside vanilla extract bottles lead to DUI arrest

ADAMS TOWNSHIP, PA (WCMH) – When police in Pennsylvania set out to figure out who has been dumping vanilla extract bottles in a ravine along a road, they ended up making a DUI arrest.

Neighbor Greg Betant tells KDKA the vanilla extract bottles have been dumped along Myoma and Carriage Hill Roads 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,” he said. “The most I picked up at one time was 110.”

He said he assumed that kids who weren’t old enough to buy alcohol were drinking the vanilla extract and dumping the empties along the road.

When police began investigating, they discovered otherwise. Road workers installed a trail camera in the area. Not too long after, they got a picture of a woman throwing bottles out of the car.

Police say they then pulled over the suspect and quickly realized she was drunk.

Police identified the driver as 61-year-old Mary Ranker. When Ranker was pulled over, police say she was drinking from an eight-ounce bottle of vanilla extract. She had five more two-ounce bottles with her.

The vanilla extract she was drinking was approximately 35% alcohol.

Police told KDKA Ranker is a recovering alcoholic and she felt more comfortable buying vanilla than going to the liquor store. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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