Do not assume that you can’t get a DUI just because you were drinking yesterday. There are cases of people getting pulled over the next morning and still being impaired. If this happens to you, you could face DUI charges.
For instance, this happens to many workers who have to get up early to get to the office. They catch a few hours of sleep after a late night with friends and then they head in to work. They assume that it’s safe, but they could still be impaired and they could certainly get arrested if the police pull them over.
The truth about your BAC
If you’re wondering why this happens, a lot of it just has to do with how fast your BAC, or blood alcohol concentration, can actually drop after you stop drinking. It is far from instantaneous.
In reality, your blood alcohol concentration will go down by about 0.015% for each hour after you take that last drink. Keep in mind that actually consuming the final drink will raise your blood alcohol concentration as it is absorbed into your system, so the decline may not start for a little while after you quit drinking.
But you can still see just how slow this decline is. Say that your blood alcohol concentration was at 0.10%. then you had one final drink, which bumped it up to 0.12%. Once it actually starts to go back down, it will take you more than an hour just to get to 0.10% again. It will actually take you roughly eight hours to get all the way to zero.
There are some other factors in play, such as your size, your gender and your drinking habits, but it’s safe to say that the rate at which your body metabolizes the alcohol is going to be roughly the same every time. If you only slept for a few hours prior to getting up for work, you certainly are not close to being 100% sober again. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you are.
What if you’re facing legal charges?
That said, mistakes do happen, and even people with the best intentions may find themselves facing some serious drunk driving charges. If this happens to you, make sure you understand all of your legal defense options.