We’ve all had to make the drive of shame after a long night of drinking. The next morning, your friend takes you to the parking lot or driveway where you left your car. You’re barely able to hold your head up as you stumble into the driver’s seat and hope to find a coffee shop nearby. It’s been hours since your last drink and you snagged a few hours of sleep, so you should be fine to drive, right? Actually, what many people don’t realize is that driving hungover can sometimes be just as dangerous as driving drunk.
Driving Hungover: Avoiding Unusual DUI’s
You Still Have Alcohol in Your System
It can take your body a while to fully process the alcohol. Therefore, one risk of driving hungover is that you probably still have alcohol in your system. In fact, the spins that normally come with a hangover indicate that you do. Therefore, driving in this condition can be quite dangerous, even when you think you’ve given it enough time.
Your Raised BAC
If you do still have alcohol in your system, you may have a raised BAC. While it’s probably going back down at this point, it’s likely not at zero. Therefore, driving hungover could mean blowing a raised blood alcohol concentration. Although you may not be over the legal limit, a raised BAC could still hurt your case if stopped by the police.
Although it’s been hours since your last drink, that doesn’t mean you are not impaired. Not only do you have alcohol still in your system, but you are also fighting hangover symptoms. This can make you sluggish and slow to react. In addition, it can dull your alertness so that you may not be able to focus. Furthermore, you may also be dealing with a severe headache and nausea, which can affect your ability to operate a vehicle safely.
In many ways, driving hungover mirrors the impairment of drinking and driving. Therefore, it can be extremely dangerous to operate a vehicle while dealing with a hangover.