When you’re out having a good time with your friends or family or you’re celebrating an important milestone, it’s easy to get carried away with your drinking.
Being a responsible adult, however, you’d never intentionally drive while you’re impaired. You either do your drinking at home, take an Uber, use a designated driver or stay put where you are until you’re sober – so you’re pretty certain you’re safe and don’t have to worry about either causing an accident or getting a DUI (driving under the influence) charge. Unfortunately, your “morning after” a heavy night of drinking can also lead to drunk driving charges.
Your BAC may not decline as rapidly as you believe
It’s important to understand that feeling sober and being sober are not the same things. After some sleep, a hot shower and some fluids, you may feel sufficiently recovered from your drinking the night before to head out on your morning commute – but you may actually still be impaired.
It all has to do with how fast your blood alcohol content (BAC) level declines. Regardless of how well you tolerate the alcohol in your system, your BAC declines at the rate of roughly .015% per hour. That means if you fall into bed at 2 a.m. with a BAC of .200%, you won’t actually be below the legal limit of .080% for drivers until after 10 a.m., which is well after most people have to be on the road for work.
Even then, you may find that your reflexes are dull and your judgment isn’t the best. That alone could make you vulnerable to the kind of traffic errors that can attract the attention of the police and result in a traffic stop. If the officer judges you to be impaired, that could turn into criminal charges.
If you are arrested and charged with drunk driving, learning more about your defense options by seeking legal guidance right away can help you minimize the consequences that this situation could impose on your life.