Is there an interaction between coffee and alcohol?
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Is there an interaction between coffee and alcohol?

If you’ve ever been too drunk to drive and noted that you wanted to sober up quickly, odds are that someone told you to buy a cup of coffee. They may have even repeated the common refrain that caffeine can sober you up and make driving safe. Is that true?

Simply put, it’s not. The idea that coffee sobers a person up is a traditional myth that gets repeated over and over again. It doesn’t work. Drinking a cup of coffee leaves you (almost) as sober as you were before you drank it. 

Why almost? The reason is time. That’s what actually sobers you up. It takes time to break down the alcohol in your system. If you spend an hour drinking that cup of coffee, you will feel more sober than when you began. But it’s not the coffee that did it. It’s the hour you spent buying and drinking that coffee. 

The reason that people say coffee sobers you up is that caffeine actually wakes you up. One of the side effects of alcohol is that it makes you feel tired. The coffee can counteract that. People often assume that means they’re no longer as drunk as they were. In reality, they’re just not as tired as they were before. They’re still just as drunk. 

You don’t want to buy into myths like this one. You can take a shower, drink coffee, go for a jog or do anything else that people promote as a way to regain your sobriety and then still get arrested for drunk driving. If you do, then you need to know what legal options you have. An experienced attorney can help protect your rights and your future.