It is important that when driving, you are focused and in your right senses. This is why the authorities consider it illegal to drink alcohol while driving.
When you drive under the influence of alcohol, you are driving with impaired senses. It is tagged driving under the influence of alcohol. You are however considered a danger to the lives of other people on the road, as well as to yourself. So, can you drink non alcoholic beer while driving?
No, you should not drink non alcoholic beer while driving because it is not advisable to be eating or drinking while driving to avoid being distracted. Since a non-alcoholic beer does not get your drunk and impair your driving ability and judgement, you can drink it before you drive and not while driving.
What is a Non-alcoholic Beer?
This is a beer that has little or no alcoholic content in it. It is next to impossible to get drunk or be overwhelmingly influenced by a non-alcoholic beer.
Although a non-alcoholic beer contains little or no alcohol, it tastes exactly like beer, just without the normal influence of getting you drunk. A perfect example of a nonalcoholic beer is the Heineken 0.0.
Most times, a non-alcoholic beer still contains a tiny percentage of alcohol. This is to enable the beer to have the exact taste of an alcoholic beer.
Different countries, however, have different meanings for what a non-alcoholic beer is. In the US and its Europe environs, any beer that contains below 0.5% alcohol content is a non-alcoholic beer. Some countries call it an “alcohol-free” beer.
Can You Drink Non Alcoholic Beers While Driving?
No, you cannot drink non alcoholic beers while driving. It is not even advisable to drink anything at all, be it alcohol, non-alcoholic drink, juice, or anything at all while driving because it can constitute a distraction for you.
In the United States, as long as the alcohol level of your drink is below the legal limit, drinking beer while driving is not a crime.
However, you can still be pulled over and warned, or even worse, fined, because the bottle of your non-alcoholic drink looks the same as an alcoholic one.
In the United Kingdom, however, the rules are slightly different. You cannot get arrested for drinking anything, beer or not, that contains less than 0.5% alcohol.
So, yes, you can drink a non-alcoholic beer (within the legal terms of what a non-alcoholic beer is in the UK) while driving.
If you’re in Canada, although you can drink a beer that is non-alcoholic, or at least defined so legally, you might still get pulled over, warned, and even fined because the can of the beer you’re drinking will look identical to a regular beer.
The rules are a lot more different in Australia. In Australia, there aren’t specified laws around whether you should eat or drink or not while driving, however, anything that is considered to veer your full attention away from driving while at it is considered wrong and unlawful, and you can be fined for it.
If the authorities believe that drinking non-alcoholic beer has distracted you from the road, you’ll most likely be fined.
Generally, anywhere in the world, it isn’t advisable to do anything else while driving, especially if it takes your full concentration off the road. This is why operating your phone while driving is considered illegal.
Ensure you’re not doing anything that endangers your life and the lives of others on the road.
Is it Illegal to Drink Non-alcoholic Beer While Driving?
Technically, drinking non-alcoholic beer while driving is not illegal, as it can’t be termed as drinking under the influence of alcohol.
However, since the appearance of a non-alcoholic beer is the same as that of a regular, alcoholic beer, you might get pulled over by the authorities, questioned, and if you’re unlucky, fined.
Not all Officers have the patience to see whether it’s an alcoholic beer or not. The best thing to do, to put yourself in a safe space is not to drink non-alcoholic beer while driving.
The fact that it is not illegal to drink non-alcoholic drinks while driving doesn’t mean you should drink them. For example, you cannot drink Heineken 0.0 while driving just because it’s considered a non-alcoholic drink. It’s not right.
Can You Drink Non-alcoholic Beer and Drive?
Yes, you can drive after drinking non-alcoholic beer. This is because the tiny amount of alcohol in a non-alcoholic beer is never enough to intoxicate you and affect your driving skills and judgement.
There is nothing wrong with driving after you have had a non-alcoholic beer. It isn’t advisable, though, to drink it while you’re driving, because it might be mistaken for an alcoholic one.
Effects of Non-alcoholic Beers
Although non-alcoholic beers have little or no alcoholic contents, they still have their effects on the body, just as alcohol has an intoxicating effect on the body.
1. It Can Cause Relapse
For someone trying to stay away from alcoholic beers, or trying to get sober, drinking so-called non-alcoholic beers will definitely cause a relapse because even though these beers are labeled ‘non-alcoholic’, there’s still a little percentage of alcohol content in non-alcoholic beers.
Also, asides from the little content of alcohol in non-alcoholic beers, drawing you back to regular beers, the smell of non-alcoholic beers doesn’t stray in any way from alcoholic beers. They smell the same, and there is power in the smell.
2. Organ Damage
It is important to note, also, that long-term intake of non-alcoholic beers can trigger damage to the liver and other organs of the body.
Also, because of the sugar content, too much intake of non-alcoholic beers puts you at risk of diabetes.
3. Trigger Heightened Cravings for Regular Alcohol
It’s like smelling what you don’t want to drink. The more you smell, the more you are triggered to drink it. Again, if you are trying to stay away from regular alcohol, you shouldn’t even be anywhere near non-alcoholic beers.
Drinking a non-alcoholic beer while driving is not illegal, and neither is it advisable. Just because of the simple fact that it might be mistaken for an alcoholic beer because of the appearance, and also because it is also a point of distraction should deter you completely from drinking while driving.