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HomewellnessWill eating a lot of boozy Christmas food affect your breathalyser test...

Will eating a lot of boozy Christmas food affect your breathalyser test results?

You’re likely to be welcomed with an eggnog when you arrive at a Christmas party. You accept it because it’s just one drink and these things are simply a concoction of egg yolks, sugar and just a smidge of brandy – practically a dessert, right? 

But wait, you haven’t factored in that slice of bourbon-soaked fruit cake, rum-laced tiramisu, Bailey-infused trifle and rum truffles yet. Yes, they are boozy but they are also small bites, you figured. Surely, not everything alcoholic adds up and affects your breathalyser test results if you get behind the wheel?

You might be right, said doctors such as National University Hospital’s Dr Lee Guan Huei, who is the head and a senior consultant with Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine. “The amount of alcohol in such alcohol-infused treats is very small and would not add much to breathalyser results or impair driving.”

Related:

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However, Dr Edward Cheong, a general surgeon specialising in gastrointestinal surgery with Panasia Surgery Group, has a different view. “Every little bit adds up. Especially if the alcohol stays in your mouth longer.”

Dr Cheong is referring to gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD that causes you to repeatedly regurgitate what you’d eaten back up your oesophagus, including the alcohol in the food and drink you’ve had. “Any food that results in gastroesophageal reflux can affect the breathalyser result,” he said.

Another consideration is whether you have eaten anything before imbibing. “On an empty stomach, the alcohol from these alcohol-infused treats will be quickly absorbed,” added Dr Cheong.

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