Question: I got arrested for DUI in the morning and I only drank the night before. I actually slept for about 5 hours and woke up and when I was driving to work I got stopped for a stop sign violation. The Cobb police officer said I didn't stop at a stop sign.
Believe it or not, the cop arrested me for DUI and when I took the test at the jail or police station, I'm not sure exactly where I was, I blew a .142, which is way higher than I thought it would be.
I still can't believe I got a DUI in the morning, on the way to work, and I blew such a high number. I really don't know what happened or what to say. I slept at least 5 hours, I think, but I still got a DUI. I admit I woke up with a hangover.
The night before I was drinking pretty heavily, I assume. I was at a bar and then went to dinner and I had some red wine, beer, and a margarita. I usually don't mix alcohol, but I did and I didn't think I was that drunk. Then again, I'm a pretty big drinker so maybe I was drunk.
We stayed local in East Cobb, where I live, and had a good time. I drove my fiend home, and then I drove me and my wife home. No problems driving home.
When I got up the next morning I took a shower and left for work. I didn't eat breakfast like I usually do because I was in a rush, and I'm thinking maybe that had something to do with my high alcohol level because the food would have absorbed some of the alcohol.
I'm kind of shocked and embarrassed that I got a DUI and I think it's got to be rare to get one going to work. I felt hungover and I was wondering what caused my hangover. Now I want to speak with you when you are free because I need a Cobb County DUI lawyer to help me.
B.B. in Marietta, Georgia
Answer: Getting stopped for DUI in the morning on the way to work is actually not that uncommon. Many people drink alcohol at night and in the morning, since the body has not fully processed or metabolized all of the alcohol, they can still be inebriated. Sometimes they can still be very drunk from the night before.
On average, the liver can process 1 ounce of alcohol every hour, and it can be detected in the blood for hours (depending on the amount consumed), and in the urine for several days if a sensitive test is employed.
About 22 percent of the alcohol a person drinks is absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream through the stomach. A further 78 percent is absorbed by the small intestines.
Any remainder that is not metabolized leaves the body through sweat, urine, and saliva.
Once alcohol reaches the bloodstream, it goes to the liver to be processed or metabolized. The liver produces enzymes that break down the alcohol molecules.
Many factors can affect how alcohol is processed by the human body, including:
- Body size
- Family history
As for your hangover, a main chemical contributor to a hangover is acetaldehyde. The three enzymes which can convert alcohol to acetaldehyde are:
- alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH)
- cytochrome P450 (CYP2E1)