Can Kombucha Tea Cause You To Get a DUI?
Vikings’ wide receiver Michael Floyd was recently convicted of driving under the influence. As part of his sentence, he was given house arrest and ordered to self-administer breathalyzer tests. Recently, he failed a breathalyzer test, thereby violating the terms of his house arrest. He mounted what some saw as a surprising defense by blaming his level of intoxication on a fermented tea drink.
According to reports, Floyd was found in violation of his house arrest with a blood alcohol content of 0.055. He was then ordered to serve one day in jail, and then finish out the final five days of his house arrest. Floyd and his attorneys said that he had not consumed alcohol in the traditional sense, but had several bottles of a kombucha tea drink. Now people are questioning whether they can really get arrested for DUI after consuming beverages containing the tea.
The short answer is: no.
How Much Alcohol Is In Kombucha?
The long answer is this. According to science, the beverage contains a maximum 2 percent alcohol. This comes from the fermentation process. Compare this amount of alcohol with what is contained in a typical beer, about 5 percent. Science says that the wide receiver, at more than 200 pounds, and registering a blood alcohol content of 0.055 after sleeping, would have had to have consumed 10 to 15 bottles of the drink over the three-and-a-half hour period he claimed to have been drinking the beverage. He said he drank four or five.
There are other factors that come into play in this particular situation. The tea is supposed to be refrigerated. If it is left out at room temperature, the alcohol content can rise slightly. It’s not out of the realm of possibility to have some kombucha beverages to reach the 3 percent alcohol mark if they aren’t refrigerated properly. Floyd also said that he was drinking on an empty stomach.
It Is Technically Possible, But Not Likely
It is possible that Floyd could be telling the truth. For the beverage to have caused him to register such a high blood alcohol content, he would essentially have had to have left it sitting out before he consumed it, drank a dozen bottles all night long, and not have had anything to eat. This may have created a perfect storm.
The Vikings are backing Floyd’s story for now. They say they encourage their players to drink kombucha tea for its health benefits. In fact, they seem to have it on tap in the team clubhouse. However, that support comes with a hitch: They said if they found out Floyd was lying, they would cut him from the team immediately.
The takeaway? While drinking kombucha beverages could certainly cause someone to register a small amount of alcohol in their system, it would be highly unlikely for a person to be charged with driving under the influence after consuming a single beverage. However, if you are driving dangerously and have any amount of alcohol in your system, you could be charged with DUI.
If you do happen to be arrested for driving under the influence in Atlanta, regardless of the type of beverage you have consumed, our team of criminal defense attorneys is here for you. We have years of experience defending cases like yours in the local court system and will put our knowledge to work for you. Call today to schedule a free case evaluation.