Getting a DUI after a night of drinking may be a mistake, but it’s also somewhat expected. There are people who get in the car as they leave the bar – or a gathering at a friend’s house – knowing full well that they have consumed alcohol and just hoping that they will be able to drive home without getting pulled over. Inevitably, some of them are going to be pulled over and arrested on DUI charges.
Most people don’t worry that the same thing is going to happen to them the next morning. However, you do have commuters who get pulled over on drunk driving allegations on their way in to work in the morning. It is definitely possible to get a DUI the next day, but why is this?
How fast your BAC declines
One thing to keep in mind is that blood alcohol concentration (BAC) doesn’t decline as fast as many people assume. If someone has been drinking too much, they may think that they just need to take an hour and drink a glass of water so that they can get in the car safely. That feels like it will be enough time for them to get sober.
But the reality is that your BAC declines at about 0.015% per hour. Say that you consumed enough alcohol to get to 0.09%, which is slightly over the legal limit. In two hours, you would be down to 0.06%. But it would take a full six hours to get back to 0%, where alcohol would not show up on a breath test.
And some things can even delay this process, such as having a nightcap. If you had a drink and then went to sleep, your BAC wouldn’t have even been falling at first – it would have been rising.
For all these reasons and more, it is possible to be arrested for drunk driving the following morning. Those who are surprised to find themselves facing such charges need to be well aware of their legal defense options.