After a long, hot day on the line, you are ready to clock out and head home. However, you don’t necessarily want the stress from your job to show on your face when you greet your family. Stopping off for a drink at a local bar or restaurant with happy hour specials can be a great way to blow off steam.
You might meet up with your co-workers or just enjoy a little solitude before transitioning from one demanding environment to another. Unfortunately, even one drink during happy hour could put you at risk.
If a Louisiana police officer pulls you over on your way home from the bar, it’s possible they might arrest you for driving while intoxicated (DWI). How might a drink after work lead to a DWI arrest?
Drinking before dinner increases the effect of alcohol
Depending on when you take your meal break at work, it could have been five hours or longer since you have eaten anything. If you skipped lunch, the length of time since your last meal will be even more worrisome.
Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach significantly increases the impairment caused by alcoholic beverages. Food helps your body absorb the alcohol and creates a barrier in your stomach, slowing how quickly your body absorbs the alcohol. A drink that would never affect you after a meal could be enough to make you a little bit tipsy if you drink it hours after the last time you’ve eaten, especially if you drink it quickly.
An officer won’t care about the number of drinks you had
During an impaired driving traffic stop, a police officer will conduct a field sobriety test to show that the alcohol has affected your driving ability. They may also perform a chemical breath test to gauge the alcohol in your system.
The stronger impact of alcohol on an empty stomach might lead to you doing more poorly on the field sobriety test. It also could result in surprising results from a chemical breath test. Even if you tell the officer you only had one beer, they will care more about your blood alcohol concentration or visible impairment.
Although you don’t have to necessarily avoid ever stopping for a drink after work with your friends, you need to be safe about such habits. If you do find yourself facing DWI charges because of an oversight or mistake, learning about your options for defending yourself can help protect your freedom and your stability.