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Can you quickly reduce alcohol impairment before driving?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Dui

There are many cases where people realize that they need to drive, but it’s already too late to avoid alcohol consumption. They are impaired, but they don’t want to run the risk of being arrested for drunk driving.

What they’ll try to do is quickly sober up. Maybe they’ll drink a cup of coffee. Perhaps they’ll take a cold shower. Maybe they will eat a big meal or drink a couple of glasses of water. These are all common things that people reference as ways that they can sober up quickly so it’s safe for them to drive. Does this work?

Only time can change your blood alcohol concentration

This doesn’t work because it doesn’t actually reduce your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The only thing that does that is time. Every hour, your BAC should drop by about 0.015%. So if you had a BAC of 0.085%, which is slightly over the legal limit, it would take you an hour just to get back down to 0.07%.

Why do people think that these tricks work? In some cases, it’s just because it wakes them up. Taking a cold shower or quickly drinking a large cup of black coffee can make someone feel more alert and more awake.

Additionally, these tactics take time. Someone who spends an hour going to get a meal after drinking will see their BAC fall – but it’s not the meal itself that causes this drop. It’s just the time it takes to purchase and consume it.

What are your legal options?

People who use these “tricks” sometimes find themselves facing drunk driving allegations anyway, as their BAC was still elevated. If you are in this position, be sure you know about all of your legal defense options.