Imagine: you’re at a party, throwing back a couple of drinks with your friends. You have a great time, but it starts getting late. You know that you aren’t sober, but you want to get back home and you don’t want to leave your car behind.
You might start wondering how to sober yourself up so you can drive home. Some of your friends might even offer you tips to sober up. But be cautious: there are a lot of misconceptions about measures you can take to sober up after a night of drinking.
Misconceptions about getting sober
Some of the most well-known myths about sobering up are:
Drinking a lot of coffee will help sober you up before you drive. Coffee does not balance out the alcohol in your system. The caffeine in coffee still acts as a stimulant, so you may feel more alert. However, it does not counter the effects of alcohol.
- Splashing cold water or opening a window makes you more alert. While these actions might make you feel more alert, they are very temporary solutions. Just like drinking coffee, being more alert doesn’t mean you are no longer inebriated.
- As long as you eat before you drink, you will be okay to drive later. Food can slow the absorption of alcohol so that you don’t feel the effects so intensely, but it doesn’t prevent them. In fact, you might end up drinking more because you don’t feel the effects so quickly.
- You will be okay to drive after you sleep. Sleep can be helpful because it makes time pass but depending on how much you drank before you fell asleep, you might still be drunk when you wake up. It takes 10 hours to fully metabolize 5 alcoholic drinks, so take this into consideration before you get behind the wheel.
- It takes less time to sober up after beer or wine than hard liquor. It is true that you have to drink more volume of beer or wine to match the effects that a shot of hard liquor will bring you.
The only thing that will sober you up after drinking is time. Plan your evening transportation in advance so that you don’t even need to worry about how to safely get home.