DUI After Sleeping it Off?


As with other holidays which provide the opportunity to imbibe alcoholic drinks with reckless abandon, law enforcement will be out in full force this 4th of July weekend to catch would be drunk drivers. If you’ve read my posts prior to such holidays, you know that I often end the post with suggestions on how to avoid a California DUI. One such suggestion is to make plan to stay the night and sleep it off.

But is sleeping it off a foolproof way to avoid driving drunk? Unfortunately, no.

I suggest it as one precautionary measure to assist a person in sobering up, but it does not necessarily mean that a person will be sober after sleeping. The rate at which a person sobers up varies depending on weight, sex, age, food consumed, and how fast someone consumed the alcohol. It is very possible to be drunk the morning after drinking.

However, very generally speaking, alcohol leaves the blood of the average person at about 0.015 percent blood alcohol content per hour.

Let’s say that you took my advice this Friday and made plans to stay the night at your host’s house after a night of watching fireworks and drinking copious amounts of alcohol. You fall asleep on the couch at 2am with a blood alcohol content of 0.19 percent. After six hours of sleep, you wake up at 8am to catch breakfast with your host and offer to drive to the diner.

While you think you may be sober enough to drive after having “slept it off,” you’d be wrong. At 8am, your blood alcohol content is 0.10 percent.

There are several websites out there which help determine when a person will be sober. One such site is www.whenwillibesober.com.

Yes, these websites assist in determining the sobriety of a person, but they are by no means exact. Again, keep in mind that alcohol leaves people differently. So if you’ve “slept it off” after a night of heavy drinking and wake up still feeling a little drunk, you probably are.

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