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AAA warning motorists about dangers of driving hungover

Woman driver driving car on the road
Posted at 5:05 PM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 17:05:44-05

CLEVELAND — Just because the party was the night before doesn't mean you're safe to drive. AAA is warning motorists about the dangers of driving hungover.

The old saying "just sleep it off" may be useful if you've got nowhere to be on New Year’s Day, but if you're getting behind the wheel of a car the day after you may want to think twice. The dreaded hangover can have more of an impact on your ability to drive than you think.

We all know of the old wives’ tale: A cup of coffee, or a bottle of water before you go to bed.

According to the AAA DUI Justice Link, the only thing that will sober you up is time. It can take between 75 and 90 minutes for the body to eliminate alcohol contained in one standard-sized drink. Sometimes even longer.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says hangover symptoms peak when your blood alcohol content level returns to near zero.

And those symptoms can last 24 hours or longer. We're talking about headaches, dehydration, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, weakness, nausea, vertigo and sensitivity to light or sound and increased blood pressure.

AAA says they don't advise anybody drive with these symptoms, regardless of whether they are recovering from a night of celebrating or not.

“Driving hungover can be just as dangerous as driving after having a few drinks,” said Lori Cook, safety advisor, AAA East Central. “After a night of drinking, many people will wake up with alcohol still in their blood, or they will wake up tired and disoriented.”

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