Five Mind-Altering Beverages That Won't Land You a DUI

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

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.

See also: Try the Inebriating Elixir at Mystic Water Kava Bar Before It's Banned

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.

4. Kefir

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.

3. Kombucha

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.

1. Kava

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.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.