Folk wisdom offers no shortage of remedies for those who need to sober up quickly - cold showers, food and caffeine are just a few of the ways people try to diminish the effects of alcohol when circumstances require that they sober up. Unfortunately, when someone decides to rely on these "remedies" before driving, the legal consequences may be serious.
Although caffeine may generally help someone to focus and may make an individual feel less intoxicated, there is no evidence that it helps reduce an individual's blood alcohol content (BAC). From a legal standpoint, an individual's perception of intoxication is irrelevant; the relevant consideration is an individual's blood alcohol content level. It is illegal to drive in Pennsylvania with a BAC level above .08.
Perhaps most troubling with this misconception is that the combination of alcohol and caffeine can cause an individual to underestimate his or her level of intoxication. According to the New York Times, doctors have expressed concerns about mixing alcohol and caffeine for precisely this reason - a person who does not recognize his or her true state of intoxication may make uninformed or ill-advised choices, like drinking and driving. In addition to the legal consequences, this can have obvious health and safety implications, for both the individual and others on the road.
In Pennsylvania, the potential DUI penalties are serious; a person convicted of DUI may face extensive fines and lose driving privileges. For someone with a prior DUI conviction, these consequences may increase significantly.
If you have been accused of DUI, it is important that you understand your options and the most effective course of action for your situation. Speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to discuss your options.