Thirsty for Trouble: Navigating Iowa’s Highway with NA Beer in Hand!

Everyone is aware of how risky it may be to drive after consuming alcohol. It may result in mishaps where you injure yourself or, worse, other people.

Call an Uber, request a ride, hail a cab, arrange for a ride home, etc. if you’ve had a drink at a bar or party. In 2024, you’ll have more than enough alternatives to get home securely. The cost of the $10 to $30 taxi fare will be significantly less than the penalty associated with an arrest for DUI, and most significantly, you won’t endanger the lives of other people.

Now that we know it’s not a good idea to drink and drive, how about sipping a beer that has almost no alcohol? In Iowa, is it legal to consume an NA or a 0.5% beer while operating a vehicle?

Foods and Beverages That Breathalyzer Test Results May Show

Not before you roll your eyes and declare, “No, you can’t, there’s still alcohol in an NA beer, obviously not.”

Did you realize that eating or drinking sweet foods, pizza, hamburgers, energy drinks, mouthwash, etc. might cause a false positive on a breathalyzer test? The alcohol content of NA beers is comparable to that of many fruit drinks, if not lower.

You will blow 0.00 on a breathalyzer after consuming one NA beer. In the extremely unlikely event that you go four days without eating, you may blow a 0.001.

Is it thus permissible to drink an NA beer and drive in Iowa if you won’t be intoxicated?

Is That Permitted?

Legally speaking, it is OK to have an NA beer while operating a vehicle. According to Get Jerry, a 0.5% NA beer is not regarded as an alcoholic beverage.

“Any beer or malt beverage with an alcoholic content higher than 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) is considered an alcoholic beverage.”

In terms of open container legislation, you can only face charges if you are driving a motor vehicle while in possession of an open alcoholic beverage. You won’t get in trouble for having an open container either, because NA beer isn’t regarded as an alcoholic beverage.

This Doesn’t Preclude You from Being Stopped

If you’re drinking an NA from a can or bottle, it probably seems like a normal beer to passing motorists or law enforcement. If you are caught driving after drinking, you can face consequences and be stopped.

After that, you’ll have to explain that you’re consuming non-alcoholic beverages. If the officer suspects you’re lying, you could also be asked to complete a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer test. You ought to breeze through any exam unless you’ve consumed more than thirty NAs in less than an hour. The trouble might not be worth it, though.

This is another of those situations when you might be able to do something legally, but it doesn’t always mean you should. It makes more sense to hold off on opening your NA beer till you reach home.

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