“How does a drunk person sober up so they can drive safely?” is a question that a lot of people ask. While the question is coming from the right place so to speak, the answer is usually not what people want to hear. Will coffee, an energy drink, a caffeine pill, food, or a cold shower have any effect on blood alcohol content (BAC)? The answer is, “No, the only thing that will sober someone up is time. There is NO way to speed up the alcohol metabolization process.
“But I swear I sober up when I drink coffee or have an energy drink.” While these beverages certainly may make you feel more “alert,” they are doing nothing to lower your BAC. In other words, you can “feel” more alert after having a caffeinated beverage, but your judgement, motor skills, coordination, and depth perception can all still be impaired by the alcohol and not reduced because you drank coffee or a Red Bull.
‘Wide Awake’ Drunks
“Caffeine may help a person feel alert, but it does not break down alcohol in the body. And just because a person feels aware and alert does not mean they are not impaired and intoxicated by the alcohol in their system,” according to MedicalNewsToday.
“Alcohol is a main cause of motor vehicle accidents and poor decision-making. If a person chooses to consume alcohol, they should do so safely and take whatever steps are necessary to avoid putting themselves and others in harm’s way.”
When you drink alcohol, the alcohol in the drinks builds up in your bloodstream. Your liver needs time to process the alcohol and break it down; there’s no way to speed this up. The idea that you can drink a lot then sober up quickly by drinking coffee, taking an ice cold shower, or eating food high in protein is unrealistic. Your BAC levels will remain high until your liver has had the time it needs to metabolize the alcohol you consumed.
So, how do you sober up after drinking too much? You need to allow yourself plenty of rest, time, and sleep. There is no shortcut to sobering up.