Imagine that you went to a friend’s house for a social gathering. You had a bit too much to drink. You understood the risks, though, and decided not to drive. You fell asleep on their couch, woke up in the morning, and only then decided to head home.

On the way, the police pulled you over and an officer asked you to do field sobriety tests. You were adamant that you hadn’t been drinking that morning, which is true. However, you still got arrested for a DUI. How is this possible?

The issue is that it can take hours for your body to actually metabolize that alcohol. The fact that you slept doesn’t mean you were sober enough to drive.

How long will it take? There is no way to say exactly, at least not in a fashion that works for everyone. The reality is that many different factors contribute. A few include:

  • How much you drank
  • How often you drink
  • When you drank last before going to sleep
  • What type of drinks you had
  • How much you weigh
  • What gender you are
  • How old you are
  • How much you ate
  • How much water you drank

The biggest thing is time. If you slept for 10 hours on that couch, odds are the alcohol got through your system. If you just crashed for a few hours in an uncomfortable location, though, you could still be intoxicated enough to face charges.

If you do find yourself under arrest or heading to court after the alleged DUI, it is important to know exactly what legal defense options you have.