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How Long Does it Take to Sober Up?

How Long Does it Take to Sober Up?

If you spend enough time at local bars or taverns, there is a chance you have heard the following phrases:

  • “Well, I’ve got to drive home. I better have a cup of coffee before I hit the road.”
  • “Can I get a water? Gotta sober up a bit before I drive home.”

The idea that you can quickly sober up with a couple glasses of water or a cup of coffee after a drinking session is ingrained into our culture.


Unfortunately, the law does not care if you had a cup of coffee or made an effort to hydrate yourself before leaving the bar; it cares about the simple fact of whether or not you are driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater.


It Takes a While for Your BAC to Drop

Your BAC takes longer to fall than you likely realize. It is true that a person’s weight, gender and other biological factors influence how quickly their BAC rises, but most people’s BAC will fall at a rate of only .015% per hour. This means that if your BAC is .095 and you chill out at the bar for a half hour before heading home, you will still be at .08 and at risk for a DUI arrest.


The bottom line when it comes to sober driving is that you cannot quickly lower your BAC to ensure a legal drive home. To avoid the risk of DUI your best bet is to arrange a sober ride before you drink, hop in a cab, or head home on foot. Better safe than sorry. If you make the mistake of driving and get arrested for a DUI, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights.