There are certainly cases where people make no effort to get sober before getting in the car, and they are not surprised when they get pulled over for drunk driving. They likely just hoped that they wouldn’t get caught. But there are also people who feel that they have taken the proper steps to get sober first, and they are surprised that this still counts as impaired driving. They didn’t even think that they were breaking the law.
Much of the time, the real issue here is just that the individual that was told a myth about how they could get sober, they believed it and they took action to reduce their level of intoxication. But since it was a myth to begin with, they didn’t actually get to be any more sober than they were before, so they can still be arrested.
Taking a shower
The first myth is that taking a cold shower will make you sober. A cold shower may help because of the time that it takes and because the cold water wakes you up. But your blood alcohol concentration will remain unchanged. If you were over the legal limit before, you likely still are.
Drinking a cup of coffee
Like a shower, a nice cup of coffee can wake you up and make you feel a bit more alert. People sometimes mistake this for feeling sober. However, the fact remains that your BAC is still the same, whether you have consumed a cup of coffee or not. It is true that eating before you drink can impact how quickly you become intoxicated, but eating or drinking after the fact doesn’t change anything.
Waiting for a half an hour
Another common tactic is that people will just wait for a little while before driving. But sitting at the bar for 30 minutes probably won’t make any difference in your intoxication level. Your body only gets rid of alcohol at a rate of 0.015% per hour, so you may actually need hours to get back down below the legal limit.
If you do find yourself facing serious legal charges, be sure you know what options you have.