Can coffee sober you up?

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2023 | DUI |

Drunk driving is illegal, as all drivers know. But there are still plenty of situations where drivers find themselves under the influence of alcohol but in a position where they need to drive the car. An example could be if someone goes to a friend’s house for a football game or a birthday party, has a few too many drinks and then realizes it’s time to drive home.

People in this position will often try to sober up quickly. They don’t want to be pulled over on drunk driving allegations, and they don’t want to cause an accident. They will often drink a cup of coffee, believing that the caffeine can help to sober them up. They think that this will reduce their blood alcohol concentration so that they can drive without worry. But is it true?

Caffeine just wakes you up

No, it is not true that coffee can sober you up. It’s a common myth. Many people may believe it, but there’s no scientific basis for it.

Instead, coffee will just wake someone up. They feel alert, the caffeine gives them energy and they may confuse that with feeling sober.

But their blood alcohol concentration hasn’t changed just because they feel more awake. The only way for a person’s blood alcohol concentration to go down is for them to give it time. So a person’s BAC may drop slightly if it takes them half an hour to drink a cup of coffee, but it’s not the coffee that is doing it. Their BAC is just dropping at its normal rate of approximately 0.015% per hour.

Drunk driving charges

Unfortunately, people will sometimes think that they’ve done enough to drive without worrying and still get arrested on allegations of impaired driving. These individuals need to know exactly what legal defense options they have since the ramifications of a conviction can be significant.