Getting a drunk driving charge isn’t like a simple speeding ticket. The outcome can lead to the loss of a driver’s license, loss of a professional license and loss of trust from friends and family members. It can also come with hefty fines and fees and the possibility of jail time. You must either sober up before driving or call for a sober ride to avoid these intense penalties.
But what does it take to sober up? Unfortunately, there are theories with little to no scientific backing that circulate, like consuming an espresso shot, having a quick bite of food or taking a brief nap. While these actions may help you feel more alert, rested or balanced, sobering up takes time.
Here are some calculated steps to take instead:
- Drinking water: While coffee can help keep you awake, it can dehydrate, like alcohol. And to neutralize your liver and flush out alcohol-related toxins, proper hydration throughout a period of drinking is vital.
- Eating food: When you consume food before or during drinking, your blood alcohol content (BAC) won’t rise as rapidly as it would on an empty stomach. When alcohol goes straight into your bloodstream, your BAC will increase faster. Food gives alcohol something to absorb into.
- Tracking drinks: Keeping tabs on yourself, instead of taking a guess at the end of the night or a happy hour, can help you keep off the road in an intoxicated state. As the tallies start to stack up, that can serve as a signal to begin to slow down. If you are unsure if you cut yourself off early enough, you can always use an app to track drinks and estimate your BAC.
Going into an occasion that calls for drinking with a plan can save you from brutal short-term and long-lasting consequences. It’s important to note that sometimes even actively trying to sober up isn’t always going to work. You could take all the right actions and still feel tipsy when it’s time to hit the road. In those moments, spending a little extra money on a cab or rideshare service is better than risking it all.