It is increasingly easy to avoid drunk driving. Uber and other ridesharing companies can provide a cheaper way home. Anyone with a smartphone can download an app that helps you avoid drunk driving by pinpointing your location and calling a cab. And decades of information about how many people die every year from drunk driving has done a lot to increase the social stigma attached to driving under the influence.
While almost everyone understands that driving while out partying is a bad idea, fewer people realize the dangers of driving the next morning.
A recent study out of Ireland looked at the prevalence of fatal crashes the morning after drinking. It found that 11 percent of all fatal DUI accidents occurred between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Alcohol dissipates slowly
While no one would brag about driving drunk, there can be a certain pride people attach to being able to go out at night and still accomplish things the next morning. However, the body does not get rid of alcohol just because you have slept for a few hours, particularly if you have been drinking heavily. A general guideline is that the body takes an hour to process one drink.
That leads to some people waking up while still over the limit. They may drive without even realizing the danger in which they are placing themselves and others.
Drowsy driving can lead to accidents too
Being tired, while not a factor in blood alcohol concentration, does play a role in driving ability. Even if you are not over the .08 BAC legal limit, your driving ability may be impaired after a night out with only a few hours of sleep. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowsy driving plays a role in tens of thousands of crashes every year, and maybe more. You do not need to be driving criminally to put yourself and others in danger.
For those who are injured, you do not necessarily need to prove a criminal level of intoxication for the other driver to prove fault in a civil lawsuit. Such a lawsuit can help injury victims get help with medical expenses, lost wages and other costs associated with a motor vehicle accident.