Which foods could put diners over the drink-drive limit?

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Boozy meals: research reveals the festive food that could put diners over the drink-drive limit
Boozy meals: research reveals the festive food that could put diners over the drink-drive limit
Spicy sauce, olives and orange juice are just three products that contain alcohol and could potentially put diners over the legal drink-drive limit.

All Car Leasing has revealed research on food that contains alcohol to see how many servings it would take for those eating the dishes to be over the legal drink-drive limit.

The research used the average drinking limit of 3.5 units to base the findings on, however, it stated there were also several additional factors that can influence how much alcohol is absorbed.

These including weight, age, sex, metabolism, the type and amount of alcohol being consumed, what else has been eaten and the diner’s stress levels at the time.

The car leasing company did state that despite the dishes mentioned in the research containing alcohol, when eaten in moderation, this wouldn’t cause diners to fail a breathalyser test in the event they are stopped at the roadside.

Being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal alcohol limit (of 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100ml of blood, 35 microgrammes per 100ml of breath or 107 milligrammes per 100ml of urine for England and Wales), or unfit through drink can mean a three-month prison sentence, up to £2,500 fine and a possible driving ban.

The legal alcohol limit in Scotland differs from the rest of the UK because, in December 2014, the limit was reduced to 50 milligrammes of alcohol in every 100ml of blood while the legal limit in breath alcohol went down to 22 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml.

Chocolate liqueurs

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Any diners that have chocolate liqueurs could be putting themselves over the limit but, according to the research, only if they had 850 of them.

Cocktail olives

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Alcohol-infused products such as olives contain marginal amounts of alcohol – 17 packs of gin-infused cocktail olives would be the equivalent to having one shot of gin.

A further 41 packs (total of 58) would put diners firmly over the legal limit.


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Based on a recipe by Woman & Home​, two family-sized tiramisu would also place diners over the legal limit.

While the dish traditionally contains wine, some modern recipes include liqueurs such as Baileys, Tia Maria or Disaronno.

Hot sauce

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Pubs that make their own spicy sauce should be wary as a recipe including whiskey could mean customers would be over the limit but according to the research, only if they have a bottle and a half of the sauce.

Meats cooked with alcohol

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According to All Car Leasing, chicken marsala has an average alcohol percentage of 1.75% ABV due to the serving of marsala wine.

Orange juice

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Freshly squeezed orange juice, which has fermented over time, could also be a danger because the natural yeast produces alcohol content.

Cherry trifle

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Traditional favourite – trifle pudding – could result in customers consuming too much alcohol, if they ate the whole dessert, which can use around 100ml of brandy.

Peppercorn sauce

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A classic accompaniment to steak, peppercorn sauce can be made with numerous types of alcohol including wine, whisky or brandy.

Four servings of the sauce containing 100ml of alcohol for example is all it takes to put someone over the legal limit to drive.

Christmas cake

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The festive season is just around the corner, just five and a half portions (providing the cake has been ‘fed’ with alcohol one month before Christmas Day), will place diners over the limit to drive.

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