Originally Posted by wilbanba
hygrometer readings will give you ABV if you are concerned about it
Nope. A hygrometer will tell you how humid it is outside. A hyDrometer will tell you the potential alcohol in a beverage by subtracting FG from OG. Afterwards, it's useless for that.
That said, I spoke with a cop friend of mine about this. In Ga, the law reads 0.5% (o'Douls N.A. is 0.5%) or greater can get you ticketed for open container. He also said that even at 0.5%, getting ticketed for drinking a root beer would be highly unlikely and very "situationally dependent" i.e Much more probable if you're acting like a jerk, or they suspect other stuff like drugs, stolen car, etc. He did recommend against driving down the road drinking from an unlabeled brown bottle.
As for O'Douls, it qualifies in Ga. and you would likely get ticketed if you're seen pounding 'em while driving.
Originally Posted by david_42
I doubt the soda would be tested unless you BAL was over the limit & you tried to use "It's just root beer." as a defense.
If you BAC is over the limit, they probably wouldn't even test your beverage them. They would just arrest you for DUI/DWI and forget the open container because of the burden of proof. But they could, and at that point you'd have to argue in court that it wasn't an alcoholic beverage. One thing to note when discussing DUI cases. Most jurisdictions have at least one officer specially trained/certified by the state in recognizing alcohol/drugs, administering field tests, etc. That training is going to go a long way in court when he says that in his opinion you were drinking an alcoholic beverage.