Beebe and O'Neil

When am I sober enough to drive?

Connecticut summers offer plenty of opportunities for friends and family to get together and celebrate. Barbecues, days on the beach and outdoor parties may all include alcoholic beverages. After drinking for several hours, you may be ready to head home, but should you drive?

It takes time for your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to drop after consuming alcohol, but many people do not know how much time it takes. Additionally, there are many myths about methods to quickly sober up, such as drinking coffee or eating something. What is the truth about sobering up?

It takes time to process alcohol

Time is the only thing that can actually drop your BAC. Your liver needs to break down the alcohol, and it can only process one standard drink per hour. One standard drink is equivalent to 1.5 oz of hard alcohol, 12 oz of beer or 4 oz of wine.

Therefore, if you consumed three drinks in the last hour, it will take you three hours to sober up. Drinking coffee or eating food will not speed this process. It may make you feel soberer, but you will not actually be safe to operate a car. If you do get behind the wheel when your BAC is .08 or above, you risk your safety and drunk driving charges.

Tips to avoid drunk driving charges

Drunk driving charges, referred to as OUI in Connecticut, can result in jail time, fines, license suspension and other collateral damages. The best way to avoid this risk is to avoid driving any time you consume alcohol. Rely on a designated driver or ride-sharing app to safety return home. Otherwise, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Keep track of how many drinks you consume and when you had them
  • Download a personal breathalyzer app on your smartphone to approximate your BAC
  • Stick to low alcohol content beverages, and drink them slowly
  • If there is any question in your mind whether you should drive, don’t

Every day, approximately 28 people die from alcohol-related car accidents in the United States. Think about this statistic as you make decisions about driving safety. You do not want to harm yourself or other people on the road.

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Beebe & O'Neil
PO Box 6002
335 Washington Street
Norwich, CT 06360

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Phone: 860-222-2021
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