It has happened. There have been cases of individuals receiving a DUI for driving the morning after ingesting alcohol. For individuals that think a good night sleep can take care of their intoxication, know this: sleep may help you feel sober but does little for your blood alcohol level.
For many individuals, there are some factors that go into determining the length of time needed to sober up. Depending on an individual's gender, food intake and weight, the reduction in blood alcohol concentration may vary quite a bit from person to person. For some individuals, it may take several hours for BAC to drop below the legal limit. If, for example, an individual engaged in an evening of drinking where their BAC reaches a relatively high level, their body's natural metabolism would process a little bit of alcohol every hour. Upon waking, they may feel sober but still have a BAC above the legal limit.
The "day-after DUI" scenario happens more often than people realize. Unfortunately, these DUI's are just as serious as their happy hour counterparts and can carry significant penalties and fines. Judges and prosecutors typically don't go any easier on individuals that receive "day-after DUIs" regardless of how responsible they were the night before.
Avoiding a DUI the day after drinking can be relatively tricky considering BAC and impairment do not necessarily go hand in hand. An individual with a BAC level of 0.03 is not legally intoxicated but can still be impaired enough to warrant a traffic stop. Likewise, some individuals that enjoy several drinks the night before may wake up feeling fine but still have an over the legal limit BAC. Of course, avoiding a situation that remains so mysterious to many may be impossible. If you have received a "day-after DUI," you may want to consider speaking with a DUI defense attorney. With their help, a successful case may be made that significantly reduces or eliminates your charges.