Drivers warned booze in Christmas dinner could take them over legal limit

Motorists have been warned that the food alone in their Christmas dinner could make them too drunk to drive.

A typical three-course feast can add up to 3.8 units of alcohol and that’s before diners wash it down with wine or beer.

Researchers have blamed the "hidden booze" in treats such as prawn cocktail and red wine gravy.

READ MORE: Hardest parts of Christmas dinner to get right – including gravy and roast potatoes

But even shop-bought Christmas puddings can often contain up to 30% alcohol, making a single 100g serving worth 1.5 units, the equivalent of a glass of wine.

A slice of Christmas cake slathered with brandy butter is another 1.2 units, while a bowl of sherry trifle adds a further 0.7.

A spokesman from insurance firm MotorEasy said: “It’s obviously better to avoid all alcohol if you are driving, but that’s not always possible when there are certain dishes on offer.

“So having an idea of how much booze is in some Christmas dinner table favourites can be tremendously important.”

The average Brit can handle just 3.5 units of booze before they reach the legal limit, when they could face a driving ban and a hefty fine.

The MotorEasy study revealed that a Bloody Mary prawn cocktail – often served as a starter – contains 0.4 units of alcohol, and beer-roasted turkey with red wine gravy packs in an impressive 1.9 units.

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The spokesman added: “If you do go over the limit it invalidates your insurance. The potential punishments handed down by the courts can also be severe – £2,500 fines and two-year driving bans just for being caught.”

The current limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, which equates to around four units for men and three for women.

In Scotland it is lower at 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

Authorities stress that these are only guidelines and avoiding all alcohol before driving is the best approach.

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