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Will coffee sober you up after drinking?

On Behalf of | May 5, 2023 | Criminal Defense

If you find that you’ve been drinking enough that you’re too impaired to drive, you may still need to get your car home from the bar or from a friend’s house, even though driving it yourself would be unsafe. You don’t want to get a cab, because you’d have to leave your car overnight. Instead, you may begin to look for a way to sober up so that you can safely get behind the wheel.

When this happens, people unfortunately turn to a number of common “cure-alls” that don’t actually work. For example, you’ve certainly heard the myth that coffee can sober you up. But it’s important to know that this isn’t true. All that coffee does is give you a rush of caffeine that makes you feel more awake. But your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) will not change at all. Even if you feel sober, you could get a DWI due to the presence of alcohol in your system above the legal limit.

Why doesn’t this work?

Drinking coffee doesn’t work because your blood alcohol concentration can only be reduced through the metabolism of the alcohol in your system. The body is able to do this at a relatively standard rate, which is usually right around 0.015% per hour. If your BAC is at the legal limit of 0.08%, it will take roughly 5.5 hours to get back to 0.00%.

People will also often eat a large meal and think that this will sober them up. Eating can delay intoxication if you eat a meal before drinking, but it does not make you “more” sober if you eat after the fact. Food may help to settle your stomach or something of this nature, but it doesn’t change your BAC. That level is still only dropping at 0.015% per hour.

Are you facing charges?

What all of this means is that you may think you’re sober enough to drive when you are still in danger of getting a DWI or DUI. These myths are common, but they will not help you. If you do get arrested, then it’s time to look into your criminal defense options, as “I thought I was sober” will not be sufficient grounds for a successful defense.

If you are in need of legal assistance, please contact the dedicated attorneys at Ramos & Del Cueto via 210-761-6004 or the contact form below.

Ramos & Del Cueto, can provide experienced and dedicated assistance if you find yourself in need of help. Call 210-761-6004 or use the form below to contact our firm immediately.