As a successful professional adult, you spend most of your week on a strict schedule that revolves around your work obligations. For many people, especially younger professionals, that means that Friday and possibly Saturday night are going to be spent either out at an entertainment venue or perhaps at a social event with friends.
That way, you have the rest of the weekend to bounce back after overindulging as a way to cut loose after a long week at work. Getting behind the wheel after you’ve been partying with friends is a mistake that could cost you your freedom and impact your career. Drunk driving is one of the most common and dangerous driving mistakes.
You may have tried to make the right choice by choosing not to drive home right after the party. “Crashing” on a friend’s couch may not be ideal, but it’s certainly better than causing an actual car crash or getting arrested for impaired driving. Unfortunately, it is possible that you could still face arrest and impaired driving charges the morning after a big party.
The more you drink, the longer it takes to sober up
There is a popular myth that sleeping for an hour or two is enough to sober you up. Unfortunately, that is not universally true. There are several circumstances in which people wake up the morning after a party still intoxicated beyond the legal blood-alcohol limit.
The first and most obvious situation that could lead to morning-after impairment would be a scenario in which you kept drinking until quite late in the morning. Even if you fell asleep for three or four hours, that may not be long enough for your body to metabolize all of the alcohol you consumed. The later into the night you kept drinking, the more time it will take for your body to get rid of the alcohol in your bloodstream.
The other common issue is that you simply became far too drunk the night before. The average person can metabolize one drink per hour. If you had three strong mixed drinks back to back, that could be enough alcohol to require a full day for your body to get it out of it your system. If you get behind the wheel before your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) drops below .08%, you could wind up stopped by police, arrested and charged with a crime.
It’s always better to go back for your car later than to risk driving home
Perhaps your welcome has worn out at the site of a party, or maybe you slept in your back seat for a few hours outside of the bar and now want to head home and sleep away the rest of the day in your own bed.
Your best choice after a long night of hard drinking is to have someone else get you home. You could call a friend who can come pick you up and drive you back to your place. You may also be able to use a rideshare service. You could even be close enough that you can walk home and then come back later to retrieve your vehicle.
You will almost always benefit from erring on the side of caution after a night of kicking back with friends. A little inconvenience related to picking up your car later is much less of a concern than the potential impact of charges related to impaired driving.