You may be one of those people who tries to stay off the roads on Friday and Saturday nights in an effort to avoid drunk drivers. Indeed, that can be a safe choice.
However, you can also encounter “morning after” drunk drivers and hungover drivers as you run errands, take the kids to a soccer game or go to church the next morning. Those drivers can be just as dangerous. One report from the United Kingdom showed that some 10% of all arrests for drunk driving occurred between 6:00 and 8:00 a.m.
Late night drinking can leave a person legally drunk the next morning
Drivers can still be over the legal limit as they drive home in the morning following a night of drinking, depending on how much they had to drink and how late in to the night they were drinking. Having a few cups of coffee and a shower won’t remove the alcohol from a person’s system.
Hungover drivers can be just as dangerous. Even if a person no longer has alcohol in their system and a 0% blood alcohol content (BAC), they can experience some of the same driving impairments as drunk drivers.
How being hungover can impact a person’s driving
One study tested people’s driving skills on a simulator once their BAC returned to zero after engaging in heavy drinking the previous night. Researchers saw dangerous errors (including crossing the center line) and slowed reaction times. A similar study found “reduced concentration and alertness.”
If an at-fault driver doesn’t appear to be intoxicated after a morning crash, police may not consider administering any sobriety tests. However, even if the driver wasn’t legally impaired or there were no tests to indicate whether or not they were intoxicated, their victims have the right to compensation for expenses and damages. If you want the best chance of getting the compensation to which you’re entitled, it may be wise to consult an experienced attorney.