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Half of Designated Drivers Consume Double the Drink-Drive Limit at Christmas

20th December 2018

Photograph of Half of Designated Drivers Consume Double the Drink-Drive Limit at Christmas

New research from Inchcape reveals that half of designated drivers could be consuming more than double the legal drink drive limit on Christmas day from alcoholic ingredients in food.

In a survey of 2,000 Brits, half (49%) don't take alcohol consumed through food into account when thinking about the drink-drive limit, whilst almost one third (28%) felt uninformed about alcohol retention in cooking and wrongly believe all alcohol used for ingredients is burned off during the cooking process.

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Results revealed that women were less likely to take alcohol from food into account compared to men (49% vs. 54%), despite feeling more informed about alcohol retention in food - nearly one third (29%) of men believed they lack knowledge on the subject compared to only a quarter of women (26%).

To conduct further research, Inchcape have analysed the alcohol content of a traditional Christmas spread, paired with one medium glass of wine or a pint of 4% beer, total alcohol units consumed reach 8.2. That's almost three times the legal limit for women and double the legal intake for a man.

Dr. Ruth Fairchild from Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences said, "As well as overlooking alcohol in food, people often don't consider the accumulation of alcohol over a number of days. If you drink alcohol on Christmas Eve, followed by a Christmas dinner laden with alcohol infused foods and continue drinking on Boxing Day, your body is unable to metabolise the alcohol quickly enough before the next session begins - hence why we call it ‘topping up'.

"There is no fool-proof way of consuming alcohol and staying under the drink drive limit. The amount of alcohol you would need to eat or drink to be considered over the limit varies from person-to-person and depends on your weight, age, gender and metabolism.

"As a general rule when consuming alcohol, the more you eat - and if you're eating a protein and carb rich meal like your Christmas dinner, the longer you should wait before getting behind the wheel. Using alcohol flavoured essences within recipes are a great alternative for retaining flavour while reducing alcohol consumption and can be bought for a fraction of the price of real spirits and liquor."