People do all sorts of interesting things to catch a little beer buzz, many of which are harmless and cannot do a thing to increase blood alcohol concentration (BAC). BAC is the measure of how intoxicated a person is and is often used by law enforcement as grounds to arrest a driver for DUI, DWI, or OWI. There is a logical connection between the terms “alcohol” and “BAC” but there is also a lot more to the kind of alcohol we consume, how it is consumed, and how that ends up impairing our driving than simple wordplay.
For instance, a weird DUI myth is that foods cooked with alcohol can actually cause impairment or drunkenness.
In most cases, the alcohol in beer-battered chicken or fish is minimal and is burned off in the frying process (high heat kills the intoxicants in alcohol), leaving just the flavor. The same can be said for foods that have liquor or wine enhanced sauces, like chicken marsala. A good rule of thumb is that foods cooked with alcohol are not intoxicating, just really yummy.
As with everything, there are always exceptions to the alcohol-in-food rule.
The heat in coffee does not kill the alcohol in an Irish coffee. The rum in rum balls or the marsala in tiramisu won’t pass the breathalyzer or ignition interlock test. Drunk driving is drunk driving, and you may not only end up with a hangover the next morning but a weird DUI story, too.
Either way that you look at it, using food as an excuse for your drunk driving is… well, inexcusable. Either you are trying to get out of a DUI by blaming the dinner you just ate, or you are actually impaired from your food choices. If you have been drinking or eating alcohol, your only way to steer clear of a DUI is to find a safe ride home.