Can You Drink Non-Alcoholic Beer While Driving?

It is perfectly legal to drink non-alcoholic beer while driving. You cannot receive an open container charge or a DUI for doing so.
Written by Cameron Thiessen
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
No law prohibits drinking non-alcoholic beer while driving. Open container laws state that you cannot have an open container of alcohol in your vehicle, but non-alcoholic beer—as the name implies—is not considered an alcoholic beverage.
Are you a big fan of Heineken 0.0 or O’Doul’s? Do you wish you could crack open a non-alcoholic beer on your long drive home? Well, you can! There is no law preventing you from doing so, and you’ll only fail a breathalyzer test if you’re actually drinking an alcoholic beverage.
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Can you drink non-alcoholic beer while driving?

The short answer is yes! No law—not even distracted driving laws—prohibit you from drinking non-alcoholic beverages while you drive. 
Open container laws forbid drivers from having an open alcoholic beverage in the car. Any beer or malt beverage with an alcoholic content higher than 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) is considered an alcoholic beverage.
FDA regulations state that “dealcoholized” or “alcohol-removed” beer must be lower than 0.5%, and must have the words “dealcoholized” or “alcohol-removed” on the label.
As a disclaimer, it’s possible that a police officer could see you with an open bottle of dealcoholized beer and pull you over. If you were drinking an alcoholic beverage or two before driving with an NA beer, you may still fail a breathalyzer and receive a citation for driving under the influence.
Plus, drinking anything—even a soft drink—while driving can be distracting. Therefore, it’s not particularly advisable to do this unless you must. 

Non-alcoholic beer vs. low-alcohol beer

NA beer might still have an alcohol content of up to 0.5% ABV, and other beers may only contain a small amount of alcohol while still exceeding that limit. 
In the United States, there’s no difference in meaning between the terms “non-alcoholic beer” and “low-alcohol beer.” But in the UK, low-alcohol beer is considered any beer with an ABV level below 1.2%
In Minnesota and Utah, grocery stores are only allowed to sell low-point beer, which is any beer below 3.2% ABV. This is still considered alcoholic and is illegal to drink while driving, though.

Do open container laws apply to non-alcoholic beer?

No. You can only be charged under open container laws for operating a motor vehicle with an open alcoholic beverage. Non-alcoholic beer is not considered alcoholic, even if it has one-half of one percent ABV. 
Open container laws will apply to regular beer but not dealcoholized or NA beer.
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Can you get a DUI after drinking non-alcoholic beer?

Technically, yes—but you’d have to drink a lot! No matter the circumstances, if you test over the legal limit after taking a breathalyzer test, you can be charged with a

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The effects of alcohol consumption can be devastating to drivers. Alcohol causes your motor functions to slow, meaning you can’t react as fast if you need to make a quick maneuver. You should never drive under the influence of alcohol.
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In the U.S., technically yes. However, low-alcohol beer should not be mistaken for low-point beer, which is classified as any beer with an ABV of 3.2% or lower.
Not unless you drink a ridiculous amount of it! And if you do… you might have other problems to worry about.
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