Driving the Morning After the Night Before

Don’t be caught out by the ‘morning after syndrome’. If you know you need to drive, do not drink alcohol the night before. It can take longer for alcohol to leave your body than you realise. Otherwise, you could find yourself facing a drink driving charge.

How long does it take for your body to process alcohol?

It is often said that it takes one hour for your body to process one unit of alcohol. However, this theory poses some problems. Firstly, there is a lot of confusion over what a unit of alcohol actually means. One unit of alcohol does not necessarily equate to one drink. A glass of wine or a pint of European lager typically amounts to around 2.7 units.

Secondly, this calculation is not always accurate. Everyone processes alcohol differently. It depends on factors such as your gender, weight and metabolism. Also, you are not a robot. You function very differently on separate occasions. Things such as fatigue, stress, poor health and hunger can all influence the way in which your body reacts to alcohol.

Sometimes, people think they are fine to drive because they have slept, had a mug of coffee and a cold shower. In actual fact, these measures do not speed up the process. A big breakfast might make you feel better, but it does not magically make the alcohol in your bloodstream disappear.

Avoid driving the morning after

Therefore, if you are planning on drinking alcohol, the best advice is to avoid driving the following day. If you need to drive, do not drink the night before.

Another option is to get a good quality home breathalyser kit. You need to calibrate it to the same standard as the police use. Remember that in Scotland, the drink driving limits are lower than in England and Wales. In Scotland, the drink drive limit is 22mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

Caught driving the morning after the night before?

The police are particularly vigilant about catching people driving the morning after the night before, especially over the Festive Season. You may be pulled over by the police at any time of day and asked to perform a roadside breath test. You cannot refuse this request, unless you have a good reason, such as a medical condition.

If the device shows that you are over the prescribed limit, you might be completely shocked. Commonly, people genuinely think they are OK to drive. However, appearances can be deceiving. This can result in normally law-abiding citizens facing a charge of driving over the prescribed limit – something which usually leads to a driving ban of at least one year.

Experienced drink driving solicitors

Have you been caught out by the ‘morning after syndrome’? Whatever the circumstances of your drink driving charge, contact us at Donnachie Law for professional legal advice.

We regularly hear from people who would never normally dream of drink driving, yet are facing a drink driving charge after being breathalysed the morning after the night before. We can explain your options, offering experienced legal support.

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