When you spend time out on a lake or take a lazy day on a river in a kayak, you should know that the amount of water you drink matters. When you’re in the sun and heat, not drinking enough water could result in dehydration. If you drink beer while you’re out, that beer could intoxicate you more than usual. More surprisingly, beer and other alcohols can actually help dehydrate you, so you may have more pronounced symptoms of both intoxication and dehydration when you get back to dry land.
Driving home when you’re dehydrated can be just as dangerous as driving when you’re impaired. If you’re feeling dehydrated and have signs of it such as nausea, stomach cramping, feeling overheated or dry mouth, don’t drive just yet. Drink water, rest in a cool area, such as in an air-conditioned vehicle, and take some time to recover.
Driving while dehydrated could lead to a DUI
Some of the symptoms of dehydration do mimic intoxication, so it’s possible that you could face allegations of drunk driving even if you haven’t had a drop to drink. Symptoms like dizziness, trouble with your speech, confusion or vomiting may make an officer think that you’ve been drinking. While this might be easy to clear up later on when your blood alcohol concentration comes back low or nonexistent, it can be dangerous to go too long without getting the fluids you need.
What should you do if you’re stopped by the police and think you’re sick from being dehydrated?
If you did try to drive home and are pulled over for errors in traffic, you should consider letting the officer know that you want medical attention. Tell them that you think you may be having a medical emergency or that you want to go to the hospital. At that point, the officer should call in an ambulance or help you get to the hospital so that you can get medical attention. If they are still concerned that you may have been drinking and driving, they could seek a urine test or blood test once you’re receiving medical care.