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How to Reduce Your BAC After Drinking

J&J Firm, P.A. April 22, 2022

Short answer: Wait.

You might have heard from friends and family that the best way to sober up after drinking alcohol is to drink coffee or take a shower before driving. You’re also supposed to chew gum so if you are stopped, the cop won’t smell alcohol. You’ve probably also heard that eating before drinking will make you less drunk.

Do Any of These Things Work?

No. First, drinking coffee doesn’t dilute your blood alcohol levels, it just makes you a more awake drunk. Your normal faculties are still going to be impaired.

Same goes for taking a shower. Sure, you’ll appear less disheveled if you have been partying and will smell better, but your BAC won’t change and your normal faculties will still be impaired. And as your body metabolizes the alcohol, your pores will smell of the alcohol again.

Same goes for gum. Some of what an officer smells comes from your pores and no amount of gum chewing will get rid of that.

How about eating? This one is a bit tricky. Eating on a full stomach does slow down the rate of alcohol absorption though the stomach and small intestines, which can ostensibly allow your body more time to process (get rid) of the alcohol. Your body takes one to two hours to metabolize a drink, so slowing down the absorption rate is a good thing. However, eating is no panacea for drinking more. You can still get as drunk by drinking the same amount in a relatively short time. Studies have shown that after a set period, the same amount of alcohol causes the same amount of impairment once it's absorbed. So, what are you to do? Well, never start drinking on an empty stomach for starters. But more importantly, do not increase your planned consumption of alcohol just because you ate before drinking. If you planned to have one drink with dinner, then let that be your only drink.

What Then if You Have Been Drinking?

Time. Wait for time to pass to allow yourself to sober up. Remember it takes 1-2 hours to metabolize each drink, depending on body type and gender.

Take an Uber or call a friend/family. Better yet, take an Uber if you are going out to drink so that you remove the possibility of poor judgment later.

Have a designated driver and rotate with friends the next time you go out.

What if You Can’t Take an Uber or Wait It Out?

First, never ever sleep in the driver’s seat of your car. Being in actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired is the same as driving drunk. If you absolutely must and have no other alternatives, then get into the back seat of the vehicle and sleep it off. You might still be charged with a DUI, but at least you’d have a better defense about your intent to drive impaired.

Were You Charged with A DUI in Palm Beach?

Then call 561-847-4726 for a free consultation on your DUI. We will prepare your defense and advocate for the best outcome in your case. We may even be able to secure a DUI Diversion based on your criminal history and circumstance surrounding your DUI charge. Click here for more information about DUIs or the DUI Diversion (