People sometimes believe that a cup of coffee is all you need to sober up after having a few drinks. If they’ve had a little too much, their last stop will be a coffee shop. Someone who knows that they need to drive may drink a large cup of hot coffee because they want to make sure they’re not over the legal limit and they’re not going to get arrested on drunk driving charges.
But the idea that coffee sobers you up is a myth. Coffee just wakes you up. This can make you feel more alert. People who are feeling tired and drowsy from drinking alcohol may feel better after a cup of coffee – after all, it’s a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant. But their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) hasn’t changed, outside of the time that it takes to drink that cup of coffee. It’s not the coffee itself that sobers you up – only time does that – and so you certainly could still be at risk of being arrested.
What are some other myths?
This is certainly not the only myth about getting sober quickly. Other tactics that people will sometimes use include:
- Drinking a lot of water
- Eating a big meal
- Taking a cold shower
But again, it’s just time that allows your blood alcohol concentration to decrease because your body has to metabolize the alcohol that you drank. Your BAC will fall at about 0.015% per hour, due to time alone. None of these other tactics are going to sober you up or get you out of a drunk driving arrest. If you are facing charges, be sure you know what legal options you have.