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How a second slice of tiramisu can push you over the drink drive limit

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Drivers know the perils of drinking and driving, but you may be surprised to learn that double helpings or more generous portions of your favourite foods can send you over the drink drive limit.

The way alcohol in food will affect you depends on your weight, metabolism, what you’ve eaten recently and your stress levels.

But based on the average drink drive limit of 3.5 units, two helpings of tiramisu can mean you fail a breathalyser test.

The dish traditionally contains wine, but more modern recipes use liquors such as Baileys, Tia Maria or Disaronno.

Orange juice if left to ferment can also mean you’re unfit to drive. According to the study by All Car Leasing, fruit typically ferments over time and produces alcohol content due to the yeast, meaning two pints of orange juice can put you over the limit (based on 3% fermentation).

Dinner consisting of meat cooked in alcohol, such as chicken masala has an overall alcohol percentage of 1.75% due to the lashings of Marsala wine. You may think the alcohol content is burned off while cooking, but it depends on the heat and length of time.

Other sauces can also cause problems. Peppercorn sauce can be made with a variety of alcohol, typically wine, whisky or brandy. All Car Leasing said four servings of peppercorn sauce containing 100ml of brandy could make you go over the legal limit.

If you’re a fan of spicy sauces, be careful how much alcohol you use and how much you add to your plate. A quarter cup of Jacobs Ghost whiskey can put you over the legal limit if you consume a bottle and a half of the hot sauce.

The firm also looked at liquor-filled chocolates but it would take a whopping 850 to push you over the edge. When it comes to cocktail olives, it would take 17 packets of Slingsby gin-infused cocktail olives for the equivalent of one shot of gin.

Christmas favourites such as cherry trifle and Christmas cake can also spell trouble for drivers. If you made your way through a whole portion of trifle, containing 100ml of brandy, you would easily be over the limit. But with Christmas pudding, you’d need to make your way through 5.5 servings (if it’s soaked a month before Christmas Day).

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