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When is it safe to drive after drinking?

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2022 | Criminal Law

Drinking and driving could lead to fatal collisions on Massachusetts roads. Often, a person might mistakenly believe enough time has passed since their last drink, so they get behind the wheel. However, the driver could still suffer from alcohol-related impairments, and the decision to drive becomes reckless.

Driving impairment

Driving under the influence is unsafe because the person’s reactions and perceptions may suffer. Controlling a vehicle becomes difficult, and the driver could suffer from impaired judgment, among other issues.

The human body’s metabolism can process standard drinks within an average time frame. Typically, it takes about an hour to process 1 ounce of alcohol. So, a pint of beer could take two hours, while a glass of wine might require three hours. The more alcohol someone drinks, the longer it takes to metabolize the alcohol volume.

Blood alcohol content (BAC) increases as someone continues to drink. .08% reflect the BAC where someone is legally drunk. It could take some time for the number to come down. Be aware that a person with a lower than .08% BAC could still cause a collision from impairment.

Ultimately, it is difficult to determine how safe it is to drive after drinking. Perhaps calling a rideshare or asking a friend to drive might be wiser than risking accidents, injuries and legal consequences.

DUI charges

A person could fail a Breathalyzer test even though it has been many hours since the last drink. Drivers may fail the test after using mouthwash or medicine with alcohol in them. The defendant could fight the DUI charge by countering claims they were drunk.

A defense might challenge the police’s actions in pulling over the vehicle. If the police lacked the requisite reasonable suspicion, the traffic stop could be invalid.