How to Avoid DUI the Morning After Drinking


Did you know you can be charged with DUI the morning after drinking? It takes a long time for the body to process alcohol. Without enough downtime, you can still be over the legal limit the next day. Every year we represent multiple clients who get DWI charges after being pulled over in the morning after a big night of drinking at a wedding, a family party, or even Atlantic City. We’ve even seen people get arrested for a DWI the next morning on their way to work.

If you get arrested for drunk driving, the penalties in New Jersey can be severe. You need a strong criminal defense lawyer to determine the best strategy to minimize the repercussions. At William Proetta Criminal Law, our attorneys can begin working on your DUI defense immediately. Call or contact us now for a free consultation.

Common Misconceptions About Alcohol Consumption

Can you be both drunk and hung over in the morning after a night of drinking? The answer is yes.

Alcohol is a substance processed and filtered out of your system by the liver. Depending on your size and weight, your liver can metabolize about one standard drink per hour. A standard drink is 12 ounces of regular beer, five ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. Alcohol can be detectable in the human body for 6 to 72 hours after consumption. Therefore, you may not be safe to drive the morning after drinking.

Once alcohol is in your system, there is no way to speed up the metabolizing process. Sleeping, eating a heavy breakfast, or drinking black coffee will not make the liver process the alcohol any faster. Even when people try to do the right thing by “sleeping it off” in a hotel or home, they could still be impaired the following day. This, unfortunately, results in people still getting arrested and prosecuted for drunk driving in New Jersey.

What to Do if You’re Pulled Over for Drinking and Driving

Have you been pulled over for drinking and driving the morning after consuming alcohol? Be polite and cooperate with authorities. New Jersey’s implied consent law requires anyone arrested for driving while intoxicated to submit to a breath test to determine their blood alcohol concentration. Refusing a breath test can result in fines of between $300 and $1,000, the installation of an ignition interlock device, and/or the suspension of your driver’s license.

What are my Legal Options?

Contact an attorney as soon as possible after a DUI arrest. You have legal rights. A skilled drunk driving lawyer can review the circumstances of the arrest and ensure the police did not violate your rights. Then they can discuss your legal options for moving forward. The goal is to avoid a DWI/ DUI conviction (if possible) or to have the charges reduced. Your previous DUI history can impact the path your case will take, and a lawyer can devise a strategy that works toward the best possible outcome for you.

Plan Ahead Before You Drink

Planning ahead is the smartest way to avoid a DUI the morning after drinking. Here’s what to do:

  • Identify a designated driver who plans to stay sober when you go out.
  • Leave your car at home and take a taxi, rideshare, or public transportation to get to work the next day.
  • If you still feel buzzed in the morning, take the day off. Never drive if you feel tipsy.

How to Prevent a DUI Before You Get on the Road

Don’t put yourself or others at risk. After a night of drinking, avoid hitting the road too early the following morning. The only way to prevent a DUI is to avoid getting behind the wheel. Wait for your body to metabolize the alcohol in your system before you operate a vehicle.

Contact a New Jersey DUI Lawyer Today

There’s no difference between a nighttime DUI and a morning-after DUI. Under New Jersey law, it is all the same and carries the same penalties. Navigating the criminal justice system alone can be treacherous. We always tell clients that whether they hire us or not, it’s always a good idea to have an experienced DWI lawyer on your side to represent your interests, protect your rights, and challenge the evidence presented against you. Call or contact William Proetta Criminal Law to speak with a DUI lawyer in New Jersey.