Most people don’t think about getting a DUI on their commute to work. It’s not as if they woke up and had a drink with breakfast. They simply were drinking the night before, perhaps at the bar or with friends, but this is a brand new day. They’re just sipping coffee as they drive to the office.
But you certainly can get a DUI the next day, and one reason is just that the police only need to see impairment. Even if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) has dropped below the legal limit, the police could still argue that you were impaired for other reasons, such as failing field sobriety tests or causing a car accident. You don’t necessarily have to exceed the legal limit.
How fast does your BAC decline?
The second thing to keep in mind is that your BAC does not decline nearly as fast as it increases. The standard rate of metabolism for alcohol causes a BAC to drop by about 0.015% every hour. Meanwhile, the legal limit is 0.08%.
For instance, imagine that your BAC was 0.09% the night before. That was just slightly over the legal limit. It would still take you roughly 6 hours to get all the way back down to zero. So the problem is that many people have not gotten enough sleep to reduce their BAC, or they were significantly further above the legal limit, meaning that they needed much more time to sober up.
If you are charged with DUI the morning after you were drinking, it’s very important to understand all of the legal defense options that you have by having legal guidance.