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Will coffee sober you up quickly?

On Behalf of | May 25, 2023 | DUI |

You are out having drinks with friends when you realize it’s time to drive home. Maybe you have to get up for work in the morning, so you just don’t want to stay out much later. Unfortunately, since you’ve been drinking, you realize that you need to get sober before you drive. Otherwise, you could cause a wreck or be arrested for impaired driving.

You mention this to your friends, and one of them tells you that you just need to go order a cup of coffee. If you walk down to the local coffee shop and drink the largest cup of hot coffee they sell, it will sober you up and you can drive safely.

It’s a common myth

This advice isn’t grounded in reality, but it’s a myth that a lot of people treat as fact and repeat accordingly. It goes along with other myths, like taking a cold shower or eating a large meal. These are all tactics that people believe will make them more sober.

The truth is that nothing is going to make you more sober than you were before because nothing but time can reduce the amount of alcohol in your system. Once you’ve already been drinking, the alcohol enters your bloodstream. This is what the police are measuring when they look at your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

Coffee or a cold shower can change how you perceive things, simply because they wake you up. You’re still just as impaired as you were before. A large meal can help if you eat it before you go drinking. It helps to slow down the absorption of alcohol as you drink it. But if you already have consumed alcohol, adding food to the equation isn’t going to make any difference after the fact.

Are you facing charges?

At the moment that your friend suggests having that cup of coffee, though, you may not realize just how unhelpful this advice is. If you try this tactic and then drive home, you could certainly be pulled over by the police. You may be surprised to learn just how high your BAC still is. If you do get arrested, you’ll need to seek legal guidance to better protect your interests. Ideally though, by avoiding myths concerning sobriety, you’ll be able to make informed choices that will allow you to bypass this scenario entirely.