It's long been a myth that you can't get drunk from eating foods that have been cooked with alcohol. "The alcohol burns off!" is what most people believe. The truth is that it's unlikely that all the alcohol put into a dish will bake off, and that's bad news if you plan to drive.
While alcohol will bake off in some instances, like during a slow-cooking process, it's more likely that alcohol will remain, especially if it's added as one of the last ingredients or after baking is complete.
How much alcohol bakes off?
That's completely dependent on the dish. The United States Department of Agriculture reports that with 30 minutes of cooking, around 30 percent of the alcohol content bakes off. That also depends on the level of heat applied to the food, but if you consider this as a general rule, you'll understand that dishes that take between 30 minutes and one hour to cook likely retain up to 60 percent of their original alcohol content.
The amount of alcohol used in the recipe is also an important factor. If a whole bottle of wine goes into a dish, that dish may end up with a higher alcohol content than if a single beer does.
Can you face a DUI for eating foods containing alcohol?
Yes. If you get behind the wheel while intoxicated for any reason, you could face penalties. Fortunately, if you didn't know the dish had alcohol in it, this could work as a good defense for you. While most dishes won't result in a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08 percent, it's possible. If the dish was cooked incorrectly or you ate more than expected, you could end up with a BAC over the limit.
Remember, alcohol myths can still get you into trouble. If you're eating or drinking alcohol, be aware of your intoxication level before driving.