What To Expect If You’re Drinking Non-Alcoholic Beer While Driving

Time to read: 6 minutes

If you’re thinking about drinking non-alcoholic beer while driving, well, you technically can. Non-alcoholic drinks are becoming more and more popular these days. They don’t impair your capacity for interaction and communication, unlike alcoholic beverages.

But since most US states don’t distinguish between “alcoholic” and “non-alcoholic” drinks, a police officer will almost certainly stop you if they see you drinking from a bottle that looks like a regular alcoholic drink.

Thus, if you’re attending a social event, you should learn to say no and avoid alcohol – particularly if you’re driving.

drinking non-alcoholic beer while driving

What is a Non-Alcoholic Beer?

Non-alcoholic beer is a type of beer that contains very little or no alcohol. It is made using fermentation, in which yeast breaks down the sugars in the beer and turns them into alcohol. However, the non-alcoholic beer undergoes an additional process called de-alcoholization, in which the alcohol is removed from the beer. This leaves behind a beer that is low in calories and contains no alcohol.

These beers usually have a lower calorie count than regular ones and are often chosen by people trying to reduce their alcohol intake. Non-alcoholic beers can be just as flavorful as regular beers, and they offer an excellent alternative for people who don’t want to drink alcohol.

The Open Container Laws

Open container laws, which regulate (or simply) forbid the use of alcohol in such open containers in public places, result in millions of people receiving fines or even being arrested every year, according to the Huffington Post

In terms of the law, “public areas” refers to areas designated as public, such as parks, walkways, beaches, and, controversially, private automobiles on the road. Open container restrictions do not cover private property that is accessible to the general public, such as sports stadiums, concert halls, taverns, and restaurants.

The open container laws are intended to reduce public intoxication, specifically to discourage persons from using a motor vehicle after drinking. Since open container regulations only exist at the state and municipal levels and are not standardized between states or counties, there is no federal open container legislation.

Only driving while in possession of an open alcoholic beverage can result in charges under open container regulations. Since the open container laws are not federally enforced, there are 11 states where they do not apply:

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Can You Get a DUI For Drinking Non-Alcoholic Beer While Driving?

Beer is frequently linked to drunk driving and alcohol use. It’s crucial to keep in mind that not all beers contain alcohol. Since true non-alcoholic beers don’t contain any alcohol (0.0%), consuming them won’t result in a DUI.

You can only be charged with a DUI for consuming non-alcoholic beer if the police officer thinks you’re drunk. This is so that if the police officer believes you to be intoxicated, they have the option to arrest you.

It’s improbable that you’ll ever be breathalyzed after consuming a glass of non-alcoholic merlot. It’s crucial to keep in mind, nevertheless, that you cannot be detained for just holding a non-alcoholic drink. Before making an arrest, a police officer must have reason to think that you are intoxicated. 

However, it’s probably not a good idea to drive around with a bottle of Beck’s by your side, mainly because it can be considered a breach of the open container laws, which forbid any open containers of alcoholic beverages (even those which have just a half a percent of alcohol by volume).

While technically you can drive with a non-alcoholic beer, we advise against it. Consider why you would want to put yourself in a position to be pulled over? It’s nearly guaranteed if a police officer sees you driving with a Heineken 0.0% beer, you’re getting pulled over.

The 5 Best Non-Alcoholic Beers To Try

In general, non-alcoholic beer is becoming more popular among millennials, for health and wellness reasons. Here are some options for N/A drinks for those who are curious about what non-alcoholic beer is, if it’s healthy, or who simply want a suggestion for a new non-alcoholic beer to try.

  1. Heineken 0.0
  2. Brooklyn Crafted: Extra Spicy Ginger Beer
  3. Two Roots Brewing Co.: Enough Said Helles
  4. Athletic Brewing Company: Run Wild IPA
  5. Brooklyn Brewery: Special Effects Hoppy Amber

drinking non-alcoholic beers while driving

Are Non-Alcoholic Drinks Healthy?

Despite the rise in sales of low and no-alcohol beers over the years, many still ponder the question, “What’s the use of non-alcoholic beer?” Others might not be aware of the many excellent benefits of non-alcoholic beer, including its health advantages.

Need some convincing on the advantages of alcohol-free beer? Or do you need to persuade someone else? Here are some advantages of drinking non-alcoholic beer.

  • Health benefits. One of the healthiest beverages on the bar menu is non-alcoholic beer because it has several positive health effects. Folic acid, potassium, iron, and zinc are just a few of the vitamins and minerals it contains. Non-alcoholic beverages contain natural and organic elements as well, making them quite healthy for our bodies. For instance, non-alcoholic beer consumption can lower your risk of heart disease, improve sleep quality, promote bone formation, and lower your vulnerability to infections like the common cold.
  • You won’t get drunk from it. Some non-alcoholic and alcohol-free beers may contain up to 0.5% alcohol, however this is hardly enough to make you intoxicated. When you drink non-alcoholic beer, you won’t experience the drawbacks of drinking alcohol, such as hangovers (and the “hangxiety” that goes along with them), decreased productivity, exhaustion, and embarrassing yourself. And after leaving the bar, you can still drive home.
  • Less calories. Each unit of alcohol has around 56 calories. These calories have no nutritional value and are therefore “empty” calories. If you substitute a pint of beer with a 4.5% ABV with a beer with an equivalent 0% or 0.5% ABV, you might save up to 145 calories just from the alcohol. Six teaspoons of sugar have nearly the same number of calories as that. However, it should be noted that not all non-alcoholic beers are low in calories. Their components and the method of brewing determine the total number of calories. For instance, a beer with lazy yeast is probably going to have more sugar and calories.
  • When you’re cutting down your drinking. Non-alcoholic beer can aid your efforts to cut back on your weekly alcohol use, take a break temporarily, or quit altogether. Additionally, it’s a practical method to take a break from drinking alcohol on a night out without switching to water or another soft drink. Your body links the taste and smell of non-alcoholic beer with full-strength beer, which is one of the factors that makes it a successful substitute for alcoholic beverages. Dopamine, the neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy after drinking alcohol, is produced as a result. This means that alcohol-free beer still has some of the benefits of alcohol without the drawbacks.
  • Less costs. Any beer that exceeds a certain percentage is subject to tax, which brewers typically pass through to you. As a result, non-alcoholic and low-ABV beers are frequently less expensive to purchase than a comparable full-strength beer. Just keep in mind that brewing alcohol-free beer typically costs more. So don’t anticipate that all non-alcoholic beers will be inexpensive. After all, when it comes to beer, we pay for taste and quality, not ethanol content.

Although non-alcoholic beer may not contain any alcohol, it can still be a refreshing and enjoyable drink. There are many different brands and types of non-alcoholic beer available, so you’re sure to find one that suits your taste. Whether you’re looking for a lighter alternative to regular beer or you’re trying to avoid alcohol altogether, non-alcoholic beer is definitely worth giving a try.

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Drinking Non-Alcoholic Beer While Driving FAQs

Can you drive around with a non-alcoholic beer?

If you’re drinking a non-alcoholic beer and you’re pulled over, don’t be shocked. N/A beers are packaged in bottles that resemble those of standard beers. As a result, you can be stopped by a police officer on suspicion of DUI. 

Although he cannot write you a ticket, he might give you some advice about never driving after drinking non-alcoholic beer again.

Can you drink non-alcoholic beer while working?

You won’t be able to drink alcohol at work. Although there aren’t many laws that specifically forbid it, your organization or HR department will have written policies that forbid it.

Since non-alcoholic beer is not considered an alcoholic beverage, no law prohibits you from consuming it at work. However, given that it is advertised and branded as an alcoholic beer, internal business policies may prohibit it. It can give off the wrong impression to clients and coworkers.

Can Heineken 0.0 get you drunk?

Theoretically, one 5% beer is equal to 10 0.5% beers. However, non-alcoholic beer (up to 0.5%) won’t make you intoxicated if you’re a healthy adult.

When your blood alcohol level (BAC) reaches 0.04%, most people begin to experience alcohol’s milder side effects, such as relaxation and a slight decline in thinking and memory. However, consuming low-ABV beer makes it nearly hard for your blood alcohol level to rise to 0.04%.

Will non-alcoholic beer fail a breathalyzer?

Alcohol-free beverages can also give inaccurate findings. This is because they have very little amounts of alcohol in them.

It’s improbable that you’ll ever be breathalyzed after consuming a glass of non-alcoholic merlot. It’s crucial to keep in mind, nevertheless, that you cannot be detained for just holding a non-alcoholic drink.