When you go out for drinks, you probably take the time to plan an outfit, leave at a specific time and grab your wallet or purse. Although it might not always be top of mind, figuring out how you will get home at the end of the night should also be a priority.

Instead of or trying to implement remedies to feel more awake, you should plan to take the safest ride home. It’s important to understand how much time it takes for your body to break down alcohol and how dangerous going behind the wheel can be after a few drinks.

Sobering up takes time

One thing to note is that sobering up takes time. So, say you attend a birthday party with dinner plans that began at 8 p.m. By the time everyone orders their meal and dessert wraps up, you don’t begin bar-hopping until 11 p.m. You realize you’re tired and ready to go home as you walk into the second bar an hour later. After a couple of cocktails with dinner and some rounds of birthday shots at the first bar, you are probably nearing the legal blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.08%.

Maybe all the alcohol hasn’t fully entered your bloodstream yet, but hailing a cab or calling a trusted family member to come pick you is still going to be your safer than driving yourself home. This is because it takes about 30 minutes for one drink to leave your body.

Drunk-driving is unsafe

The more you drink, the more difficult it is to judge your situation. Since alcohol can cloud your judgement, you might think you are sober enough to drive, even when you are indeed impaired. If you go behind the wheel with a decreased sense of judgement, then you might not be able to decide how far away you are from the median or the car in front of you and could end up crashing.

Other effects of alcohol that negatively impact your ability to drive include:

  • Poor coordination
  • Weakened concentration
  • Blurry vision
  • Slow response time

Planning a sober ride doesn’t have the same ring to it as partying with friends, but combining the two can save you from a fatal drunk-driving incident or costly DUI.