Drunk Driving the Morning After

Experts say many drunk driving crashes and arrests actually happen the morning after a night of partying.

More than 66,000 people were arrested for drunk driving last year in Florida. Experts estimate more than 7,000 of those arrests actually happened the morning after a night of partying.

DUI attorney Lee Meadows says he sees it all the time.

"I’ve had not just one, but several instances where the next morning people have been going through drive-through restaurants to get their breakfast, and because they were still intoxicated at 7:30 or 8 o’clock in the morning, they’ve run into the wall."

The state does not keep statistics on the time of day for DUIs or drunk-driving crashes, but police LT David Folsom says it’s more common than you might think.

LT Dave Folsom with the Tallahassee Police Department says, "Recently as early as 7 o’clock in the morning, we had someone sitting at a traffic light, sleeping. When the officers arrived, they found out they were still drunk from the night before."

DEP Steve Barrow recalls a young woman who crashed after trying to sleep it off at a friend’s house.

SGT Steve Barrow with the Leon County Sheriff's Office says, "A lot of it’s they want to do the right thing, they think they’ve slept, think they’re all right just to get home, and they’re not."

If you’re lucky enough not to hurt anyone, driving drunk the next morning can still carry a hefty price tag. A conviction will cost you $10,000 to $15,000 in fines, court costs, and higher insurance rates.

More than 1,000 people died in Florida last year in drunk driving crashes. Authorities say you should wait at least an hour for each drink you’ve had before driving. Some people may have to wait even longer to be safe.