The holidays are a joyous time to celebrate with family and friends. However, this is also a time when drinking and driving is unfortunately more common. Therefore, making the roads even more dangerous when traveling during the holiday season. Our DUI lawyer will dive into the myths of “sobering up” and the effects of drinking in hopes to help keep the roads safer this holiday season.
Alcohol’s Rapid Impact
One common misconception is that alcohol takes a long time to affect a person’s ability to make decisions and drive safely. In reality, alcohol’s effects begin quickly, even before noticeable signs of intoxication appear. Initially, alcohol can act as a stimulant. This leads people to feel more upbeat and excited. However, this is a deceptive phase. The truth is alcohol impairs judgment and inhibitions, potentially resulting in reckless decisions.
As individuals consume more alcohol, their reaction times slow down, and their behavior may become uncontrolled and aggressive, leading to confrontations and violence. The slurred speech and loss of balance commonly associated with drunkenness become apparent at this stage. Moreover, excessive alcohol consumption can cause blackouts, resulting in memory gaps while intoxicated.
At higher levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), alcohol acts as a depressant, increasing the risk of passing out and, in severe cases, life-threatening alcohol overdose due to the suppression of vital life functions.
“Sobering Up” Myths Debunked by Our DUI Lawyer
Despite the well-documented dangers of drinking and driving, misconceptions surrounding alcohol use continue to mislead people, resulting in fatal consequences. It’s important to know these are only myths and have no truth to them when consuming alcohol.
Myth: You can sober up faster if you drink coffee or caffeine.
Fact: Coffee or caffeine will help with tiredness and provide a typical energy boost, but has no effect on the effects of alcohol. In fact, when the effects of caffeine have worn off, you typically get tired as you do when you drink alcohol which will only make you more drowsy.
Myth: If you’re not slurring your words or unbalanced, then you’re okay to drive.
Fact: The skills and coordination to drive are impacted before you see signs of intoxication. Also, drinking slows reaction time and can make you drowsy which both increase the risk of losing control or attention when driving.
Myth: A nap will make you sober up faster.
Fact: The only way to truly sober up is to allow your body to process the alcohol. Alcohol can be detected in the bloodstream for up to 12 hours.
Preventing Holiday Tragedies
It’s always important to practice safe and responsible drinking. Below are some things to consider if you are hosting a holiday gathering or attending get-togethers:
- Offer Alcohol-Free Alternatives: Provide a variety of alcohol-free drinks like water, juices, and sparkling sodas to counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol. These non-alcoholic options also slow down alcohol absorption and provide guests with alternatives.
- Serve Healthy Foods: Offer a range of healthy foods and snacks to slow down alcohol absorption and reduce its peak concentration in the blood. This can also minimize stomach irritation and discomfort the next day.
- Arrange for Safe Transportation: Help your guests get home safely by encouraging designated drivers, taxis, or rideshare services. Anyone planning to drive should abstain from alcohol entirely.
Understand Underage Drinking Laws: If you are a parent, know the underage drinking laws in your city/state.
Contact Our DUI Lawyer
Our team of experts have handled many cases for drinking and driving. We hope that by further educating everyone on the effects and myths of alcohol, we can work together to keep everyone safe this holiday season. Should you, or someone you know, be involved in a drunk driving incident, contact our DUI lawyer to review the case/incident fully. Together we will assess the situation, discuss options, and potential consequences.
Otherwise, we hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season!