For most adults over the age of 20, there is nothing wrong with having a drink or two during Happy Hour before tending to their evening commitments. There is also nothing wrong with drinking copiously at any time, really, as long as one is responsible about their choices while they’re still intoxicated.
For example, it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that meets or exceeds 0.08% (and even less if someone is driving a commercial vehicle). Therefore, someone can drink as much as they please if they’re taking a rideshare home or are benefiting from the kindness of a designated driver. (In fact, that’s definitely the best way to avoid a drunk driving charge.)
But, if someone wants to drive home after drinking – whether they’ve had one drink or six – they may be rightly concerned about getting sober before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
There’s nothing to do but wait
There are numerous myths that people may try on for size in an attempt to get sober “faster” than they would by simply waiting out their intoxication level. They might chug cold water or hot coffee. They might try a cold or hot shower. They may take a power nap or eat a meal. In reality, the only thing that will sober someone up is time.
The body metabolizes alcohol at a specific rate. This rate is not altered by water, coffee, sleep, food, etc. These attempts to sober up may make a driver more alert but no less intoxicated. Therefore, even if they don’t feel drunk anymore, they may remain at significant risk of being pulled over for a DUI.
While the idea of sobering up rapidly is appealing, nothing but time will mitigate a driver’s BAC and allow them to escape the risk of DUI charges.