You head out for a night of fun at a party or a bar, and you over-indulge a little bit. You don’t want to take a chance that you’re too buzzed to drive, so you spend the night on a friend’s couch and head home when the first rays of sunlight awaken you.
You’re a bit hungover in the morning, but you don’t feel drunk — so how could you end up with a drunk driving charge?
You could still be intoxicated and not realize it
It takes about an hour, on average, for the human body to metabolize one drink — but your unique metabolism could be slower. Plus, you may simply not have slept long enough to fully process the alcohol in your system. The fact that you feel alert after waking up and having a little coffee doesn’t necessarily mean you’re actually sober enough to drive.
You can be impaired without being legally intoxicated
You don’t have to be drunk to actually be dangerous out there on the road. Researchers say that a driver can have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of zero, per a Breathalyzer test, and still be hungover — and that a driver with a hangover is just as dangerous and impaired as a driver who is drunk.
In addition, the severity of a hangover doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to how well someone drives after a night of drinking. According to that research, those who felt only mild discomfort from their hangover were just as bad at driving as those who were most severely hungover.
What’s the lesson here? Well, if you want to avoid a DUI charge, you probably ought to leave your car at home entirely when you go out. It’s far better to take an Uber, get a lift from a friend or have a designated driver at the ready than to find yourself in court.
That being said, mistakes do happen. If you are facing charges, find out what it takes to successfully defend your case.