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Could you get a DUI the day after drinking?

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2023 | DUI Charges |

In many cases, people assume that they only risk getting a DUI within a few hours of when they’ve been drinking. If they go out with their friends on a Friday night and they make it home without getting pulled over, they don’t think that there’s any risk of driving while impaired the following day.

But the truth is that anyone certainly can get a DUI the next day, and this situation does play out fairly frequently. One common scenario involves people who have to work the next morning. They wake up early, get in the car and start their commute. They get pulled over during that commute and have a positive blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

How does this happen? People are often confused because they didn’t have a drink with breakfast and they certainly weren’t drinking in the car. Why are yesterday’s activities still affecting them on their subsequent commute?

BAC declines very slowly

In many cases, the problem is just that people assume that their blood alcohol concentration is going to decline a lot faster than it actually does. While you can increase your BAC rapidly, it is only ever going to decrease at an approximate rate of 0.015% per hour.

This percentage can differ very slightly from person to person, but there’s nothing you can really do to change your own rate. It’s based on how fast your body can metabolize and break down the alcohol in your system. So, even if you have slept through the night and woken up early for work, depending on how high your BAC was the night before, there is no guarantee that it will have descended below the legal limit by the time that you’re ready to start your day.

Getting a DUI on the way to work can cause a lot of complications. Not only will you be concerned about the legal ramifications, but you may wonder if the situation is going to cost you your job. It’s very important to know what steps you can take and what options you have if you’re ever facing this situation.