Everyone knows that drinking alcohol while driving or driving afterward can be very dangerous. It can lead to accidents that can hurt yourself or worse, other people.

If you've been at a bar or party and consumed alcohol, call an Uber, call for a ride, call a taxi, plan for a ride home, etc. There are more than enough options in 2024 for you to get home safely. The $10 to $30 cab ride will be much cheaper than the fines of getting arrested for a DUI and most importantly, you aren't putting other people's lives in danger.

Now that we've established you shouldn't drink alcohol while driving, what about drinking a beer with close to zero alcohol in it? Can you drink an NA or a 0.5% beer while driving a car in Iowa?

Foods/Drinks That Could Show Up in a Breathalyzer

Before you roll your eyes and say "No you can't, there's still alcohol in an NA beer, obviously not."

K92.3 logo
Get our free mobile app

Did you know if you eat/drink sugary foods, pizza, hamburgers, energy drinks, mouthwash, etc, you could trigger a false positive on a breathalyzer test, according to Attorney Michael Manley. NA beers contain the same or less amount of alcohol than many fruit juices.

If you drink 1 NA beer and take a breathalyzer, you're going to blow 0.00. On the rare occurrence that you haven't eaten anything in 4 days, you might blow a 0.001.

So, if you're not going to be intoxicated, is it legal to drink an NA beer while driving in Iowa?


Is It Legal?

Technically, you are legally allowed to drink an NA beer while driving a car. An NA beer or a 0.5% beer is not considered an alcoholic beverage, according to Get Jerry.

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

When it comes to open container laws, you can only be charged for an open container if you are operating a motor vehicle with an open alcoholic beverage. Since NA beer is not considered an alcoholic beverage, you won't receive an open container violation either.

This Doesn't Mean You Won't Get Pulled Over

If you're drinking an NA from a can or bottle, chances are it looks like a regular beer to cars around you or police officers. You may get reported for drinking while driving, and get pulled over.

You then will have to go through the process of explaining that you're drinking a non-alcoholic beverage, you may be asked to take a field sobriety test, and a breathalyzer test if the officer thinks you're lying. Unless you've drank 30+ NAs in less than an hour, you should pass every test with flying colors. It just might not be worth the hassle.



This is another one of those instances where you may legally be allowed to do it but it doesn't necessarily mean you should. It's smarter to just wait until you get home to crack open an NA beer.

*Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. Please speak with your lawyer or your local law enforcement regarding drinking NA beer while driving*

Lock Up! These are the Top 10 Most Stolen Cars In Iowa

Iowans have a type. We really like trucks. Turns out, so do car thieves!

Gallery Credit: Johnny Marks

12 Unwritten Iowa Rules All in the Hawkeye State Know

Admit it, as an Iowan, you already know most of these.

Gallery Credit: Johnny Marks

More From K92.3