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Roberts Law Group, PLLC
North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys
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Can you get a hangover DWI?

You go out drinking with some friends from college. It's been 10 years since you went to school together, and the reunion is great. You stay up until two in the morning, even though you have work the next day, enjoying the time with your friends.

The next morning, you feel a bit hungover when you wake up, but not as bad as you thought you'd feel. You grab a cup of coffee and start driving into work.

On the way, a police officer pulls you over for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. When the officer gets to the window, he or she asks you to take a breath test. You assure the officer that you haven't drank anything yet today and take the test.

You're shocked when you fail, blowing a 0.09. Now you're under arrest and facing DWI charges.

This scenario is more common than many people assume. The reality is that alcohol stays in your system for hours after you drink. A shower doesn't change that. Neither does coffee or breakfast. You really just need time. If you sleep for just a few hours, you could still be legally drunk in the morning.

One study found that 10 percent of DWI arrests involved people who thought they were just hungover the next morning. Other statistics indicate that drunk drivers who are arrested the next morning are an average of five hours from seeing their BAC dip under that legal limit of 0.08. You could be legally drunk for half of the work day.

If you are facing charges, even though you really didn't realize you were driving under the influence, you need to know all of your legal defense options.

Source: Scram Systems, "“Morning After” and Hungover Driving is Still Impaired Driving," accessed Feb. 22, 2018

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