Five Mind-Altering Beverages That Won't Land You a DUI
Alcoholic or not, you shouldn't get behind the wheel if you're not in your right mind. But sometimes the designated driver wants to have fun too and not worry about getting baited at a DUI checkpoint.
While the rest of your friends are doing tequila shots at the bar, stick to these drinks and you won't blow above a 0.08 if you get stopped. That doesn't mean you won't be feeling the buzz too, however, so - as always - please drink responsibly.
5. Roselle Tea
Made from colorful Hibiscus flowers that bloom in your garden, this tea seems pretty harmless when your little niece picks them every time she comes to visit. But for some people, the flower infusion is known to cause hallucinations and a feeling similar to intoxication. It's been used in Caribbean folk medicine for centuries to treat high-blood pressure, obesity, and coughs and colds. It has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. On the other hand, it's also known to mess with your menstrual cycle and should be avoided when pregnant or breastfeeding. But no matter how many cups you drink, the tea won't raise your blood alcohol level. Maybe don't get behind the wheel though, especially if you have low blood pressure, these flowers can be incapacitating.
It looks like just a regular glass of milk but Kefir is fermented milk. It's also a probiotic and linked to aiding digestion. While your commercially produced brands have no alcohol and are really little more than liquid yogurt, homemade or locally produced kefir may contain a small percentage (around 1 percent). In fact, the longer it ferments, the more sour and alcoholic it becomes. Russia's top health official tweeted last year a photo of kefir with the caption "Kefir? No! I'm driving." While the BAL is 0 in Russia, it'll take a lot of kefir to push you over the edge. But a few glasses will give you a nice, warm, happy feeling.
It's a fermented black tea that you used to be able to buy at Whole Foods. It's not considered a beer or wine and you don't need to show ID when you buy it, but alcohol does lurk inside. It contains a live bacteria and yeast that over time can convert the sugar to alcohol. A few years ago there was a legal dust-up over whether kombucha should be labeled and sold as an alcoholic beverages. The commercial producers seem to have devised a way to stop their brews from fermenting to the point of alcoholic in the bottle, so stick with the raw, unpasteurized, locally produced stuff. They're the most potent. Bottles contain anywhere from 0.5 to 3 percent of alcohol. Beer and wine is around 4 or 5 percent. You will blow alcohol into the breathalyzer but you'll have to drink your weight in kombucha before you blow above a 0.08.
2. Yerba Mate
It has no alcohol in it, but it'll definitely lift your spirits. Unlike alcohol, mate is not a depressant. In South America, indigenous tribes dry the leaves of the mate plant and then steep them as a tea. The tribe would sit together in a circle and pass it around. It's known to create a feeling of belonging and community, and improve moods and depression. It has a high caffeine content but instead of making you jittery, it'll spped up your thoughts while the rest of your body relaxes. Drink as much as you like before you drive home just be careful mixing it with other drugs.
Kava is known to have a hallucinatory effect. You'll relax, but your mind will stay sharp. There's nothing on the books linking it to DUIs, but kava has recently gotten some media attention after a couple filed a lawsuit saying they weren't adequately warned of kava's addicting, opiate-like effects. It contains no alcohol and tastes terrible, but it definitely will get you buzzed.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.