Everyone is aware of the dangers of drinking and driving. Instead of endangering their own lives and the lives of others by getting behind the wheel, responsible individuals who have consumed alcohol make the smart decision of riding home with a sober friend or taking a cab home and sleeping their alcohol buzz off. Sadly, it is still possible for these drivers to wind up behind bars, even after doing the right thing.
After a night of drinking, the next important decision drivers need to make is whether or not to get behind the wheel upon waking up. Many people are unaware that it is still possible to be over the legal limit to drive after getting a good night’s rest. While sleeping for several hours will certainly help sober you up after a night out partying, it is not a foolproof method—especially after a night of heavy drinking.
Blood alcohol leaves the system slowly. If you wake up the following morning tired and still feeling drunk, it is actually possible that you still are. Even without a hangover, you may still be under the influence and at risk for a DWI. If you drive to work or to the grocery store the next day and get stopped for a minor traffic infraction, you are likely to find yourself in trouble if the officer smells alcohol.
People try various tricks to speed up the process of sobering up: drinking coffee, taking a shower, and even eating something greasy. However, the body needs time in order to metabolize alcohol. Time is the only sure thing that reduces the effects of alcohol.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a “standard drink” is any drink containing approximately 14 grams or 0.6 fluid ounces of pure alcohol. While studies show that the average person generally takes roughly an hour to metabolize a standard alcohol drink, there are numerous factors that can speed up or slow down the process. These factors include the person’s height and weight, how many drinks they consumed, how strong the drinks were, how long they were drinking, and what food they had in their system.
Although states differ with regard to their specific DWI laws, all of them have serious penalties for DWI or DUI based on the driver’s BAC at the time he or she was driving. In order to avoid getting a DWI the morning after a night of heavy drinking, it is important to be cautious and play it safe. As discussed in earlier blog posts, an individual can be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol even if his or her blood alcohol concentration is below the legal limit of .08. So, if you have any question about your sobriety, do not drive.
If you are however unfortunate enough to be arrested for DWI the day after drinking heavily, be sure to call an experienced DWI attorney as soon as possible.
Source: DUI Tips: Driving the Morning After Drinking, published on http://lerablog.org/general/dui-tips-driving-the-morning-after-drinking/.