Every individual has a different personal limit for alcohol consumption. Some people can enjoy multiple drinks because of a heavy overall body weight, a fast metabolism and a relatively high alcohol tolerance. Others may need to wait a few hours to drive home after enjoying a particularly strong cocktail.
It is illegal to drive both when noticeably impaired by alcohol and when someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is higher than 0.08%. When people enjoy a few drinks at a party, they may need to leave in the near future after drinking.
Is it possible to sober up quickly before getting behind the wheel of a car?
So-called sobriety hacks do not work
There are a few suggestions that people often make to those who want to drive after drinking. Some people suggest drinking a cup of coffee or another caffeinated beverage when someone want to sober up quickly.
Other people sometimes suggest that the best solution is to eat a meal, possibly one full of simple carbohydrates like bread. They claim that the food can help absorb the alcohol that someone has already consumed. Others will claim that a 20-minute or one-hour power nap will help someone sober up more quickly so that they can drive home safely.
The truth is that none of these tricks actually work. The only thing that results in sobriety after consuming alcohol is giving the body enough time to metabolize the alcohol already consumed. Most people need an hour to process one beer, one glass of wine or one shot of liquor.
Someone who drinks on an empty stomach may notice the effects of alcohol more quickly and more profoundly than someone who drinks after eating, but that does not mean that eating after drinking affects alcohol metabolization. Caffeine does help people feel more alert, but it does not counteract or break down alcohol. Sleep can actually slow down somebody’s metabolic rate, meaning that a nap might increase how long it takes for someone to sober up after drinking.
People who mistakenly believe these myths might try to drive home after drinking and end up arrested as a result. Knowing one’s personal limits and giving the body time after drinking or securing a sober ride home are truly the only ways to avoid impaired driving.