Posted at: 12/31/2013 2:03 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4
New Year's Eve is one of the biggest drinking nights of the year, but many aren't aware that what they drink can carry over to the next day.
In fact, experts say 1 in 3 drivers think they're fine to get behind the wheel after a night of drinking when they are actually still drunk.
People think they can sleep off the alcohol, maybe eat something to soak it up--but that's not true. Experts say it actually takes hours to become completely sober. For example, if you drink a bottle of wine in four hours, it could take up to 12 hours before you can safely operate a motor vehicle.
The time it takes depends on two factors: gender and size. Experts say females don't metabolize alcohol as quickly. It also depends on your body weight.
The safest bet is to not drink if you have to drive that night or early the next day.
Dr. John Iacuone with Lovelace Hospitals said people think they know how much they can handle but that's not necessarily true.
"Once you're impaired you don't make good decisions. You're not thinking clearly. You think your inhibitions, which you normally would be cautious about doing something, suddenly you're not cautious," Dr. Iacuone said.