You are likely aware that it is not a good idea to drive if you are inebriated. Fortunately, there are options available such as taxi cabs, rideshares, and friends that can help you get home safely if you are not in a condition to get behind the wheel. And of course, all you need is a good night’s sleep, and you’ll be in shape to drive as soon as you wake up, right? Well, actually, this may not be the case.

The fact is, your capacity to drive legally is not altered simply by sleeping a few hours after you stop drinking. The amount of sleep you get is not relevant, what matters is your blood alcohol concentration. In New Jersey, if you are pulled over while driving and a Breathalyzer test indicates that your BAC is above 0.08 percent, you will be facing DUI charges.

So, if sleep doesn’t lower your BAC, what will? Only one thing; time. And there is no simple formula for estimating how long it will take before you are once again legally sober. There are many variables, such as how much you drank, your body weight, your gender, and your personal metabolism, that will affect how much time you will have to wait for your BAC to dip below the legal limit.

It is all too easy to think that you are fit to drive when the law says otherwise. And if you should be charged with driving under the influence, you could be contending with any number of unpleasant penalties, including the loss of your driving privileges, fines and even jail time. In addition, it is possible your insurance premiums could increase if you receive a conviction.

But an experienced DWI/DUI attorney may be able to help you get the charges reduced or dismissed. The attorney could look into the arrest to make sure that your rights were upheld. The attorney could also ask the court to assign you an alternative sentence that could include education or counseling, rather than jail time.