Great Party Last Night!! (But Don’t Drive With a Hangover…)

dont-drive-while-hung-overYou made it to 2016. Had a fantastic party, lots to eat and drink, and you did not drive home drunk. Congratulations – you did the right thing, and kept yourself and others safe.

Now we have a suggestion: don’t drive just yet.

You woke up late, maybe had a coffee, and tried to shake the cobwebs from your head. Now you’re thinking of heading over to some friends for a New Year’s Day visit.

Great idea. But not just yet. Alcohol takes time to dissipate from the system. If you drive with a hangover, you could be driving while impaired.

Researchers in Europe have shown that a driver with a bad hangover can be just as dangerous as a drunk driver. He or she is likely to be irritable, tired, distracted, impatient, and prone to making bad driving decisions. All in all, a bad hangover is equivalent in impairment to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05. That’s enough to land you in jail in many countries, and more than enough to make waiting worthwhile.

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?

We consider a good night’s sleep a magic cure for drunkenness, but that’s not always the case. Alcohol leaves the system at about .016 grams per hour. So if your BAC is .016 at midnight, is should be at zero at one a.m. provided you don’t drink anything else.

But if you had quite a few drinks, and left the party with a BAC of 2.4 (three times the legal limit), it would take you 13 or 14 hours to get back to zero. You might well wake up impaired, and if you got behind the wheel, you’d be breaking the law.

That’s why New Year’s morning is a good time to kick back, stay home, have a good breakfast and wait until you’re sure you’re 100% sober before you head out for a drive.

This is a big year coming up. Start it with a clear head – and no DUIs. Don’t drive with a hangover.