This post may contain affiliate links, purchases made through affiliate links may provide a commission for us, at no extra cost to you.

You can not drink anything while driving in states that are fully confronted with federal open container laws unless you are using a straw or screw. You are not allowed to have an open container while driving in:

  1. California
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Illinois
  4. Kansas
  5. Michigan
  6. Nevada
  7. New Hampshire
  8. North Dakota
  9. Ohio
  10. Oklahoma
  11. Oregon
  12. Utah
  13. Washington
  14. Wisconsin
  15. Alabama
  16. Arizona
  17. Florida
  18. Hawaii
  19. Idaho
  20. Iowa
  21. Kentucky
  22. Maine
  23. Minnesota
  24. Nebraska
  25. New Jersey
  26. New York
  27. North Carolina
  28. Pennsylvania
  29. Rhode Island
  30. South Carolina
  31. South Dakota

You are most likely not to get intoxicated by having a can or two alcohol free beers since non alcoholic beverage is about 0.2-0.5% in alcohol content. If you take too many beers, though, you are likely to cross the drink, drive limit, but you can still do it safely. Individuals are most likely to be still lucid enough to drive themselves around without any glitches whatsoever.

However, there is the issue of the governing law in the state you are in, which means that 30 states and the District of Columbia strictly forbid any open containers in the car, whether alcoholic or not.

Learn can you practice driving without a permit here.

If your state allows for open non-alcoholic containers in the car, please ensure they are within reach, do not distract you, or allow your gaze to deviate off the road while driving. In addition, you should ensure that your drink(s) is perfectly secured to avoid spillage to avoid minor accidents that could lead to major ones.

Sates Fully Conforming With Open Container LawSates Not Fully Conforming With Open Container LawSates With No Open Container Law
California Alaska Connecticut
District of Columbia Arkansas Mississippi
IllinoisColorado Puerto Rico
Kansas DelawareWyoming
MichiganGeorgia -
Nevada Indiana -
New Hampshire Louisiana -
North Dakota Maryland -
Ohio Massachusetts -
Oklahoma Missouri -
Oregon Montana -
Utah New Mexico -
Washington Tennessee -
Wisconsin Texas -
Alabama Vermont -
ArizonaVirginia -
Florida West Virginia -
Hawaii --
Idaho --
Iowa --
Kentucky --
Maine --
Minnesota --
Nebraska --
New Jersey--
New York --
North Carolina --
Pennsylvania --
Rhode Island --
South Carolina --
South Dakota --

Keep in mind that if the larger the container were to come loose, the more damage it could inflict on your property and yourself in case of an immediate stop, so safety first!

Here’s what happens if you get caught driving with a permit.

Of course, you can drive after drinking non alcoholic beer. Comfortably, in fact, you can be as safe as driving after any other non alcoholic beverage. Since the alcohol level is relatively low, the probability of you driving carefully on the road is in your favor.

Read What does SE mean on a car here.

It would be best if you took a deep breath, looked for a safe space for you to park, and calmly directed your car off the road as slowly and carefully as you could. However, because a non alcoholic beer resembles an alcoholic beverage, there is a justified cause for police to pull you over. 

Should your state allow you to have open containers in the car, you’re in the clear since you are not intoxicated. The problem was that they saw you chugging some beer. If your state laws do not allow for that, here is what you should do;

  • Be polite and answer any questions asked.
  • Give out your credentials and should they need to use a Breathalyzer or any sobriety tests, cooperate with them.
  • You should be confident that this is not an alcoholic drink. If you are uncomfortable with the questions, you can be silent.
  • Understand the traffic laws in your state as they may come at a hefty price. For example, the penalty for having an open container in Texas is a $500 fine.

I strongly recommend getting enrolled with one of the DMV certified driver’s Ed programs before getting in trouble with law enforcement. When you know the laws by heart, it’ll be much easier for you in such scenarios. And you also get a sizable discount on your insurance.

Read what does TC mean on a car here.

It is a severe offense labeled as drinking under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) when you are behind a wheel after consuming alcohol. The blood alcohol content level (BAC) should be lower than 0.08% for you to qualify as a “sober” driver. Anything above that is wrong and unlawful because of the following reasons;

  • Alcohol significantly affects your reaction time by reducing your motor skills significantly. This can cause accidents if you don’t react to abrupt changes requiring immediate changes.
  • Lack of coordination. Like in field sobriety tests, the most obvious way to spot a drunk is by their movements. If there’s too much swaying and straying from a straight path, there is a definite cause for alarm.
  • Poor concentration. The effects of alcohol disrupt your concentration when performing tasks, mainly while operating machinery when inebriated. 

All these reasons will influence your ability as a good driver because of the effects of alcohol consumption. Remember that other people are also using the same road, and it will be selfish of you to gamble with your own life, let alone others.

Should you be pulled over by police on suspicion of DUI, there are several ways you can get yourself out of it. Bowser Law advises that you;

  • Keep calm and stay put to avoid panic. Understand that you are not the only road user and how you react can greatly affect your fellow road users.
  • Look for a safe space to pull over and slowly direct your vehicle to the most convenient location.
  • Pull down your windows and wait for the officer to come.
  • When asked for your credentials, hand them over slowly.
  • If the officer asks you any questions, understand that it is well within your rights to avoid answering to prevent incrimination yourself.
  • Politely declined to take any field sobriety tests. These tests are made for you to fail. Being nervous, anxious, uncomfortable, and embarrassed increases your chances of failure.
  • Refusing to take any kinds of tests can almost immediately lead to the suspension of your driving license. For the DUI charges to stick, the police officer on your case must find irrefutable evidence that you are indeed under the influence. Should you have had other problems with the law on DUI charges, the ruling may not be in your favor even if you do everything the right way.
  • Decline to take chemical tests but understand that in some states, it’s a must to take one after refusing to take tests 6 and 7. Aceable drivers Ed program can massively help you learn your state laws regarding these.
  • Call your lawyer immediately.

Read what does L mean on a car here.

Read what does S mean on a car here.

Wrap Up

You are not legally allowed to drink non alcoholic beer while driving. However, you can drive after drinking non alcoholic beer as long as your blood alcohol content level (BAC) is lower than 0.08%.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top