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Can boozy food take you over the limit?

Posted Thu, July 19th 2018 / Breathalyser Blog, Latest News / No comments

Can boozy food take you over the limit?

A new study has found that diners should to be on guard of scoffing too much dessert - especially Scots - in case it puts them over the drink driving limit. The study found that two portions of the popular Italian dessert tiramisu - which normally contains two tablespoons of brandy, Tia Maria or Ameretto , sometimes all three - could put you over the limit. Fans of the coffee-flavoured dessert, translated from Italian as 'pick me up' or 'lift me up', are being warned to stick to one portion or face being hauled over for drink driving.

Other desserts on the 'warning list' include cherry trifles, which normally contain around 100ml of cherry brandy, but you'd need to eat the whole lot, normally made to be eaten by eight people, to get close to the drink drive limit. 

Christmas pudding is also a no-no if you want to 'scoff and drive', with a normal festive pud containing 150ml of brandy, sherry, whisky or rum, although you'd have to get through at least five slices to put you in danger.

Boozy chocolates filled with alcohol - like Bailey's mini delights or cherry liquor chocs - can also put you over the limit, although you'd need to scoff 850 to end up with a drink driving conviction, according to the study by vehicle leasing firm All Car Leasing.

In Scotland, in particular, diners should beware after the Government introduced even more stringent drink driving laws in 2014, with drivers facing conviction if they have just one pint or glass of wine. The limit in Scotland is now 22 micrograms in 100ml of breath, compared to 35 micrograms in the rest of the UK. It's not just desserts which are a danger, with hot sauce, orange juice, peppercorn sauce and chicken marsala on the 'no go list'.

According to the study, dashing a whole bottle of hot sauce - like Jack Daniels Jalapeño or bourbon sauce - over your grub could end up with a drink driving conviction. Scoffing too much peppercorn sauce could also land you in bother if you get behind the wheel, with four servings of the tasty accompaniment - usually containing around 100ml of brandy - putting you over the limit. Chicken marsala is also a risk, as a dish for four contains around 250ml of Marsala, a Sicilian wine with an alcohol content of between 15-20 ABV, although you'd need to scoff several portions to get pulled over by the police.

Amazingly, orange juice is also on the list as it contains 0.5 ABV of alcohol, which is produced as the orange ferments, although you'd need to down at least two pints of OJ to put you close to drink drive limits. Scot James Lawson, 35, of Edinburgh, said he had 'no idea' about orange juice or peppercorn sauce containing booze.


Put to the test

Motorists have been warned to monitor what they eat, after a new study has revealed that certain food items can push them over the legal drink-driving limit. But can they? In the spirit of bold investigative journalism, I bought a Breathalyser and a ton of pudding and set to work. My starting level was less than 0.02 blood alcohol concentration.

Phase one

According to the study, two pints of orange juice can often push you close to the drink-driving limit in England and Wales of 0.08. I chug back a 950ml carton of Tropicana Pure Premium smooth juice. I am full, but not drunk. My blood alcohol level remains unchanged.

Phase two

Two portions of tiramisu supposedly contain enough alcohol to get you in trouble. Still full of juice, I wolf down two individual 90g servings of Iceland’s Dolce Mamma tiramisu, which are labelled “alcohol degree 1.8%”. My blood alcohol leaps up to 0.04, but I’m still legally allowed to drive.

Phase three

The report suggests that a whole bottle of hot sauce can also tip you over the limit. I buy 148ml of Frank’s RedHot Original and gulp back as much as I can. Sadly, it only takes one big mouthful before I’m sweating and retching enough to give up. And it actually causes my blood alcohol level to drop back to the starting point. This is because, I discovered, hot sauce only counts if it is made with bourbon, which this is not. All of this was for nothing.

Phase four

A family-sized cherry trifle often contains about 100ml of cherry brandy. I couldn’t find any cherry trifle locally, so I bought the next best thing: five 150g individual Marks & Spencer luxury sherry trifles. After two, I feel sick. After three, I have to let giant wads of custard sit on my tongue for minutes at a time before I can summon the enthusiasm to swallow. After four, I’m still good to drive but can actively feel gout kicking in. I leave the fifth in the knowledge that it would definitely make me vomit. It is 11.22am and I hate myself.

Phase five

I have to make myself unsafe to drive. I have to, or else I will have consumed all these thousands of calories for nothing. It is time to bring out the big guns: 25 M&S chocolate liqueurs. I am not hungry. The thought of eating anything else genuinely repulses me. But I pull myself together and slowly force down three whisky liqueurs, two mai tai liqueurs and a mojito liqueur before I blow into the Breathalyser. It bleeps a warning. Success! I have finally eaten enough to be unsafe to drive. Which is regrettable, because at this point I could probably do with getting myself to a hospital.








Source: Stuart Heritage of The Guardian, and the https://www.allcarleasing.co.uk/blog/over-the-limit/


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