You go out to a birthday party for one of your friends. You know that you have consumed too many drinks to drive, so you take a cab home that night. It’s late and you have work the next morning, so you set your alarm. When it goes off, you quickly get up, jump in your own car and head to the office.

Is it still possible for you to be charged with driving under the influence, or DUI? Absolutely, if you have not stopped drinking long enough for the alcohol to completely make it through your system!

Average blood alcohol concentration decrease rates run around 0.02 percent in an hour or two. So, if your BAC was 0.08 when you went to sleep, you may need around six hours to get back to 0.00. If your BAC was even higher to start or you didn’t even sleep that long, you could definitely still fail a breath test the next morning.

Now, that rate of decrease is just an average — a rough estimate of what you can really expect to happen. The exact rate your body metabolizes alcohol is different for everyone and depends on factors like:

  • How fast you drink
  • How many drinks you had
  • When your last drink was before you went to bed
  • How much you weigh
  • What your metabolic rate is
  • If you are male or female

With this many variables, it is hard to guess at your own BAC. If you are still drunk, that might also impair your judgment and make it even harder. This could lead to a DUI arrest the morning after a night of drinking — at which point you then need to know all the legal defense options available to you.