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Can you get sober faster?

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2023 | Criminal Defense

In order to avoid getting pulled over for drunk driving, you may find yourself looking for ways to get sober quickly. For instance, maybe you went to a sporting event with friends. You didn’t plan to drink as much as you did, but you can tell that you are impaired when you leave the event. You don’t want to get a ticket, so you wonder what you can do to quickly sober up before you drive home.

This is the kind of moment when many people may consider a handful of common myths about getting sober quickly. They might drink a cup of water or eat a big meal. They might drink a cup of coffee. They may consider something like taking a cold shower or even going for a run. They think all of these things can potentially help to them sober up, but can they?

Nothing makes alcohol metabolize faster

You will become more sober in time, but there’s no way to change how fast this will happen. Your body metabolizes alcohol at a fairly consistent rate. For most people, this is right around 0.015% per hour. That can feel relatively slow, especially for someone whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above the legal limit of 0.08%.

So why do the myths listed above exist? Oftentimes, they have more to do with alertness than with someone becoming sober. Imagine that an intoxicated person quickly drinks a large cup of coffee. It’s reasonable to expect that they would feel more alert with the rush of caffeine in their system. The same could be said for someone who takes a cold shower. The blast of cold water is going to wake them up so they’re not going to feel as intoxicated.

But no matter how they feel, their blood alcohol concentration hasn’t changed just because they took a shower or drank coffee. It is still the same as it would’ve been after that amount of time, even if they’d just been sitting on the couch. The only way to get sober enough to drive safely is to wait it out.

Unfortunately, many people try to be proactive in ways that don’t work and find themselves facing drunk driving charges. If you find yourself in this position, seek legal guidance as soon as you can to start building a strong defense.