You had a few beers watching the Lobos at The Pit, pounded shots with friends at a nearby bar, rode a taxi home and crawled into bed. Plenty of time to freshen up and safely punch in at the office in the morning, right? Guess again.

The ticking clock of your metabolism dictates when it is safe to get behind the wheel. That does not always coincide with sleep.. Day after DUI is not a myth. Alcohol can remain in your bloodstream for several hours after your last sip, and the penalties for driving under the influence are similar no matter how responsible you were the previous night.

Only time will tell

All 50 states outlaw driving with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. Soaking in a cold shower, guzzling black coffee and scarfing down a greasy omelet might make you feel better, but only time can lower your BAC.

It all depends on how much you drank, the timeline, your height, weight and even gender. Morning, noon or night police are looking for signs of impairment in your driving and behavior that can lead to an arrest.

Hangovers can give you a false sense of security that the alcohol has run its course and it is only time to pay the price. But morning grogginess can mask an intoxication level that should keep you from driving. It is important to get to work. It is more important to get there safely.

Be as smart in the morning as the night before

A drunk-driving arrest can cost you your freedom and your license. You can face jail time and hefty fines. Just because you were smart to stay off the road the night you were drinking does not necessarily protect you from consequences the next morning.

If you have been arrested for DUI, you have rights to protect and the authorities have procedures they must follow to prove that the law was violated. An experienced attorney who knows how to gather facts that are unique to each case can challenge the government’s evidence and build a defense that can achieve the best possible outcome.