DUI on the Morning After Drinking


I recently had a conversation with a prosecutor who was telling me that he had a DUI case where the defendant hit a motorcycle and killed the driver in the morning hours. The interesting part about the case was that the defendant had been drinking the night before, had slept through the night, and had not had anything to drink since the night before. The defendant was, nonetheless, well over the legal limit.

What ever happened to sleeping it off?

While sleeping sure helps sober up someone up, it is not foolproof. This is especially true if you’ve had quite a bit to drink the night before. In fact, there are a quite a bit of factors that will play a part in sobering someone up; weight, sex, age, food in system, the speed of consumption, etc. However, generally speaking, and I really mean generally, alcohol leaves the blood in an average person at about .015 percent blood alcohol content per hour.

Recall that there is not a lot of difference in alcoholic content between a shot of 80 proof alcohol, a standard beer, or a glass of wine. Whatever poison of choice may be, let’s say you leave the bar at 1am after an evening of drinking. A designated driver drops you off at home and you’re in bed at 2am with a BAC of 0.19 percent. If you wake up to get breakfast with some friends at 8am, after six hours of sleep, you will still have a BAC of 0.10 percent. If you drive, you are breaking the law.

There are several websites out there that have calculators to help someone estimate how long it will take them to sober up. One such website is WhenWillIBeSober.com.

Remember, that these websites are not completely accurate and each person eliminates alcohol differently. They should only be used as an estimate. Don’t drive if you still feel the effects even after the time that these sites say you should be sober.

So the next time you wake up after a night of drinking and feel like you’re still drunk, guess what, you probably are.

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