Hungover Driving Accidents

Florida drunk driving accidents get a lot of attention, and with good reason. They’re a leading cause of crashes, even after many awareness campaigns over the year. In fact, 1 out of 135 people will be arrested for DUI this year in Florida.


While we all know drunk driving can lead to accidents because driving under the influence can lead to slower response times and poor judgement, it’s not the only culprit. Hungover driving, too, can put drivers and other users of the road at risk.

What Is a Hangover?

A hangover refers to the consequences of drinking, which can include a range of unpleasant symptoms. Symptoms usually start when blood alcohol gets to zero and they can last for hours or up to 24 hours.

There are multiple things happening when someone has a hangover. The liver creates acetaldehyde as the body metabolizes alcohol, and this toxin can create inflammation in several organs. In addition, alcohol use can cause mini-withdrawals, dehydration, irritation of the stomach lining, and poor sleep. These can make the effects of a hangover worse.

Usually, hangovers occur the morning after drinking, though they can start hours after someone has stopped drinking alcohol, too. At this point, the person is no longer drunk, but they can still experience a range of symptoms, including:

  • Headaches and body aches
  • Nausea, an upset stomach, and vomiting
  • Extreme sensitivity to sound and lights
  • Thirst
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Vertigo and dizziness
  • Anxieties and irritability
  • High blood pressure
  • Sweats

The exact symptoms vary from person to person. Rest, staying hydrated, and taking over the counter pain medication can help someone stay comfortable until the symptoms pass.

What Are the Risks of Hangover Driving?

Hangovers themselves aren’t dangerous. They’re unpleasant, but the symptoms resolve on their own with time. The danger happens when someone gets behind the wheel while they’re hungover. This can be a problem for a few reasons:

  • The extreme sensitivity to light and sound can make it hard for a driver to look closely at the road
  • If a person is nauseous and vomiting, they may lose control of their car
  • Headaches and the other symptoms can be distracted while driving
  • Fatigue and weakness can cause someone to drift off behind the wheel

For all these reasons, it’s important to stay off the road when you’ve been drinking or even when you’re hungover. Wait until you’re recovered enough to drive safe.

What Are My Legal Rights?

If you’re injured by a driver who was hungover but didn’t have an illegal blood alcohol limit, you may still have a claim. Under Florida law, you can file a lawsuit if anyone was driving negligently and their recklessness caused your injuries.

To find out whether you have a claim, you may want to discuss your case with a Florida car accident injury lawyer. Just call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 to speak to a live person 24/7. Or contact us online and we can schedule a free, no obligation consultation at our Miami, Homestead, or Hollywood offices. We may also be able to come to your home, office, or hospital room if you’re too injured to come see us.

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