On December 12, 2016, Michael Floyd was charged with DUI after being found asleep or passed out in his car in Scottsdale. At the time, he was a wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. We reported on the arrest in our blog back in March. At that point, Floyd had been placed on waivers by the Cardinals, and was picked up by the New England Patriots. Eventually, he became a free agent, after which he signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings.

Floyd was charged with super-extreme DUI, with a BAC of .217. In court, he entered a guilty plea, and his sentence included 120 days in jail. The plea deal called for him to serve 24 days in in a Maricopa County jail facility, with the balance to be served in home detention. As part of the home detention requirements, Floyd was required to administer breath tests when prompted by a home-monitoring machine. When he administered the test on June 11, the device indicated that Floyd had alcohol in his system, and he was charged with violating his probation.

The Kombucha Tea Defense

According to Floyd, he wasn’t drinking, at least not the kind of drinks ordinarily associated with getting buzzed. His position is that he drank four or five bottles of kombucha tea, and to the extent that he registered alcohol on the device, it was the tea that caused it.

Kombucha tea is a trendy drink that has been touted as being good for your health. It’s made by fermenting various teas and refined sugar with bacteria and yeast. It contains B vitamins and probiotics, which some say can be good for people’s bodies and their brains. Consumers have apparently agreed, and sales of the drink are expected to reach close to $2 billion in the next few years. Some experts question the value of the drink as a health aid.

The drink figures in the Floyd case because, like “non-alcoholic beer,” it contains a small amount of alcohol, .5% or less. Compare that with scotch (43%) or vodka (40%). This leads most folks to conclude that you’d have to drink a boatload of the stuff to get high.

Support for Floyd’s position also came from his team, which says they encourage their players to drink kombucha tea, and have the drink “on tap” at their facility in Minnesota. But protest as they might, the last week a judge in the Scottsdale city court rejected the kombucha defense and sentenced Floyd to an additional day in jail.

Law Offices of David A. Black
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(480) 280-8028


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