Is there any Christian denomination in which members of the congregation are given enough wine in the Eucharist/Communion that their blood alcohol concentration as measured by a breathalyzer would likely be nonzero? (I'm not counting the minister, so if a priest has to consume excess consecrated wine as I believe is required in Catholicism, that doesn't count for the purposes of this question.)

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    Some churches use port wines. Some pastors get one of the faithful to consume the Wine that is not consumed at mass. This happens with me on some occasions. And yes I do not drive because I have felt a little uneasy about it.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 11:59
  • This question is not about Christianity it’s more if a science/medical q
    – 007
    Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 16:21
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    @User 14 This is most certainly about Christianity as it involves knowing how much wine is used in different Christian denominations. It also requires knowing which ones use alcohol, and which do not. Only then can a quantity be established, a prerequisite for working out how much alcohol might be in an individual celebrant's blood system.
    – Anne
    Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 16:26

1 Answer 1


Personal communion cups are typically about 10mL, and many churches use port, which has an ABV of up to 20%.

Using this calculator, for a 50kg woman, they'd have an immediate BAC of 0.0043%. This takes 18 minutes for the body to fully process. If communion was given at the end of the service, and they were immediately breathalysed, then depending on the sensitivity of the device it might be able to detect something. But practically, it's unlikely to be an issue. However if someone's license required an absolute 0 BAC, then they might decide to wait that 18 minutes.

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    Wish the church I attended used port - we have a non-alcoholic fruit-based drink.
    – Lesley
    Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 8:09
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    "absolute 0 BAC" is effectively impossible. Most fruits and juices naturally contain alcohol. Fresh bread is 2% alcohol. Sugars can ferment in one's own gut. Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 15:07
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    Note that not all churches use personal cups; a few pass around a shared goblet, so the amount consumed will depend on how much you sip.
    – gidds
    Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 17:31
  • @gidds. That had always grossed me out. But as long as you wear a dust mask before and after the gulp….
    – 007
    Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 22:55
  • @RayButterworth Because I'm under 21 years old, under Oregon law, I would get a DUI if I were tested and the result was anything but zero. My BAC is likely nonzero due to sources other than alcoholic beverages, but if it were high enough to show at all on a breathalyzer, I would get a ticket.
    – Someone
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 0:04

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