Written by attorney Dale Seward Gribow

Can a Hangover be a DUI

Can you be arrested for a DUI when you have a hangover?

We get clients who were arrested and charged with a DUI after a night of hard partying. Sometimes clients try to do the right thing and do not drive home but instead spend the night in a Hotel so they do not have to drive drunk. If they leave in the morning and they are still over a .08 they can be arrested and prosecuted for a DUI in the Indio Court.

I had a client who thought he had sobered up after sleeping it off and drove and hit a couple in a crosswalk and was charged with Vehicular Manslaughter……..if you are over .08 it is the same as if you were drinking that morning.


You must understand that DUI stands for "Driving while Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs and is commonly known as Drunk Driving. However you do not have to be drunk! You merely have to be under the influence, which occurs whenever the alcohol level is .08 or higher. It doesn't matter how you got there. If your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is over .08, you are per se Under the Influence, (commonly called drunk). This is by statute in California, and also with most of the states in the USA. Thus in the eyes of the courts and DMV you will most likely be found guilty of something. If the Blood Test comes back showing you were under the influence of illegal drugs or legal prescribed drugs then you are under arguably guilty of DUI.

If your BAC was less than .08, you still can be charged if your driving was reckless due to your alcohol consumption. You should get a lawyer on this type of case as the DA’s in the Indio Court file and go to trial on .07’s, without any hint of drugs.

Additional resources provided by the author

California Drunk Driving Law by Ed Kuwatch, Paul Burglin and Barry Simons published by James Publishing. Innovative DUI Trial Tools by Bruce Kapsack Published by James Publishing

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