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Sleeping it off doesn’t work as well as people think

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2024 | Drunk Driving

There are many strategies people utilize to avoid driving while drunk. For example, they may count their beverages and make a point of eating while they drink. Others might rely on a good night of rest to help them metabolize the alcohol they consumed.

Generally speaking, there aren’t any special tricks that allow someone to sober up faster than their metabolism allows. Going to bed can be a smart move after a long night out, but someone may not be as sober as they expect the next morning.

People can still be drunk the next morning

People tend to process roughly one drink’s worth of alcohol per hour, although that is a very broad generalization. Factors ranging from sex and weight to age and diet can influence how quickly someone’s body can break down alcohol.

Technically, people generally continue to metabolize one drink per hour overnight as they sleep. However, the chances exist for someone to go to sleep with more than eight drinks’ worth of alcohol in their bloodstream. They also may not get a full night of rest if they stayed out late drinking.

It is somewhat common for people to wake up the next morning after a particularly intense night of drinking to still have an elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC). While they people may feel more sober than they did when they went to bed, they could still technically be legally drunk. If they drive to work or to church and get pulled over by the police, they could be at risk of failing a breath test. Morning-after drunk driving charges aren’t particularly common, but they do happen.

Of course, if someone’s BAC is suspiciously high during testing, that might be a warning sign that there are issues with the testing unit that resulted in inaccurate results. Those facing impaired driving charges, especially if they got arrested in unusual circumstances, may want to explore their options for a defense strategy.

Fighting drunk driving charges could involve questioning test results or proving that a traffic stop was inappropriate. Learning more about how the human body handles alcohol can help people to avoid scenarios in which they unintentionally violate the law.