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The State | IN BRIEF / SAN MATEO

Kava Tea-Drinking Driver to Be Tried

July 25, 2001|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A man should stand trial for allegedly driving under the influence of kava tea, a panel of three San Mateo County judges has ruled. The decision overturns an earlier dismissal of charges against Sione Olive, 26, of Arizona.

Olive drank 23 cups of kava tea--a relaxing elixir popular among people from the South Pacific--before climbing behind the wheel in June 2000. He was pulled over after weaving onto the shoulder of a highway and charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence of an alcohol or drug.

Officials said Olive, who has no criminal record, probably would be sentenced to a weekend in jail and fined about $1,000 if convicted.

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