There’s a common myth about drunk driving charges that says that a person who is too intoxicated to drive just needs to take the time to have a cup of hot black coffee before they get in the car. The idea is that this will sober them up, and then they can drive safely. Similar myths indicate that people should have a cup of water, take a cold shower, eat a meal or something else of this nature. Coffee is a very prevalent example.
As you can see from calling this a myth from the beginning, none of this is actually true. A cup of coffee doesn’t make you any more sober than you were before you drank it. You could still get a DUI.
Why doesn’t it help?
When you become intoxicated, it is because you have introduced alcohol to your system. The only way to reverse that is to remove the alcohol, which your body does by metabolizing it over time. That’s all that can actually make you more sober than you were before. As the alcohol content in your system diminishes, so does this impairment.
Coffee just adds caffeine and liquid to your system, two things that may wake you up, especially combined with a hot temperature. But it doesn’t actually remove any alcohol or change the alcohol content in your blood. That has already been established and will only decrease with time. Generally speaking, the body can metabolize alcohol at a rate of 0.015% per hour. Taking an hour to drink a cup of coffee could drop your BAC by that amount, but it’s not the coffee that did it.
Those who are facing drunk driving charges must be well aware of all of the defense options they have and the necessary steps to take.