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Why you could face OWI charges the next morning

Many OWI arrests happen at night. They often take place when people are leaving a location where they were drinking alcohol. For instance, maybe someone went to a friend’s house to watch a big football game, or maybe they were out at the local bar. As they drive home, they get pulled over and they still have alcohol in their system.

But if people do go home, sleep for the night, and then drive somewhere the next morning, they don’t usually anticipate getting an OWI. By then, they think it should be safe for them to drive. So why could they still be arrested on impaired driving charges?

The rate of decline

One of the reasons why this happens is just because a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) doesn’t decline as quickly as people assume.

As a general rule, a person’s BAC will go down by 0.015% for every hour that they go without drinking. It can still climb after they have their last drink, but it will then start to fall.

For example, say that someone is at the bar and they have a BAC of 0.10%. They are over the legal limit. But if they just wait for an hour, their BAC would be around 0.085%. Even though they spent an entire hour without drinking any alcohol, they would still be over the legal limit. In fact, it would take hours for them to get all the way back down to zero.

Nothing can speed this process up, like drinking coffee or eating a meal. It just takes time, and this is why people will sometimes wake up the next morning and fail a breath test – because they haven’t given their body long enough to clear the alcohol out of their system.

Your defense options

Have you been arrested for driving under the influence? If so, be sure you know about all the defense options at your disposal.