how long does alcohol stay in your blood

Alcohol will be metabolized by your body as soon as it enters your system.
The body uses metabolism, a chemical process, to break down substances so they can be absorbed or used as energy.
The duration of alcohol in the bloodstream can vary based on a variety of factors but it takes about 1 to 3 hours for the body to metabolize one standard drink.
Continue reading to learn more about the duration of alcohol’s presence in various bodily fluids.
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How Is Alcohol Measured In Your Body?

It is not the total amount of alcohol consumed that is measured when you take a test to determine how much alcohol is in your system.
Alcohol tests measure your blood/breath alcohol content (BAC).
The amount of ethanol (measured in grams) in 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath indicates your blood alcohol content (BAC).
BAC can be used for breath, blood, or urine tests. It is typically shown as a decimal.
In the 45 to 60 minutes it takes for your body to absorb alcohol, one standard drink usually raises your blood alcohol content by 0.02 (source). The following is the equal of one standard drink:

  • A 12-ounce can of beer with a 5% strength.
  • Five fluid ounces of a small glass of wine with a 12% strength.
  • One shot (one and a half fluid ounces) of 40% spirits, like gin, whiskey, or rum.

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How Long Does Alcohol Metabolism Take?

How quickly alcohol is metabolized is influenced by the drink’s strength and volume.
Your body has to process more alcohol the more of it you consume. Additionally, focus is essential.
Compared to two ounces of wine, two ounces of spirits have substantially more alcohol.
The amount of ethanol (alcohol) in one standard drink is approximately 14 grams, which can be found in:

  • Twelve ounces of regular beer with 5% ethanol (roughly one can).
  • Five ounces, or approximately one glass, of wine with 12% ethanol.
  • One shot, or 1.5 ounces, of 80-proof distilled spirits with 40% ethanol.

It takes the blood 60 to 90 minutes to reach peak alcohol levels after you start drinking.

Factors That Affect Alcohol Metabolism

There is no set timeframe for how long alcohol persists in your system. The speed of removal depends on you:

  • Medications: Many prescription and over-the-counter meds have risky interactions with alcohol. Ask your doctor whether drinking is benign for you and if your income includes any medicines.
  • Sex: Studies have shown that women take longer than men to sustain alcohol.
  • Age: As we age, the speed of alcohol dispensation slows down.
  • Body size: The less you weigh, the less water you have. Alcohol goes into the water in your blood — but if you have less water, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) will be higher. Smaller people can drink the same quantity of alcohol as more prominent people but have an advanced BAC.
  • Health conditions: Kidney, liver, and stomach situations make it harder for your body to process alcohol.


Few medications can relate to alcohol and change the metabolism, thereby moving how the body can process alcohol.
Some medications sluggish the emptying from the stomach into the small intestine and liver.
It causes the alcohol to be quickly absorbed. It results in higher BAC echelons and intoxication that marks the body more quickly.
Medications that are known to interact with alcohol include:

  • Anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax
  • Adderall
  • Cough and cold medicines
  • Chlorpropamide


The length of time alcohol can remain in your system varies depending on several factors. In the end, moderation and safety are essential.
Limit your weekly alcohol intake to a few drinks, and refrain from overindulging.
Additionally, if you are drinking away from home, make sure you have a ride scheduled.
It is never safe to drive after consuming alcohol, even if you are not over the legal limit.


How long does it take for your blood to be clear of alcohol?

Alcohol detection tests can amount of alcohol in the blood for up to 12 hours, on the breath for 12 to 24 hours in saliva, urine for 12-24 hours, and hair for up to 90 days.

How long does it take to lose alcohol in your blood?

A blood test may reveal the presence of alcohol for up to 12 hours. Urine: The ethyl glucuronide (EtG) test can identify alcohol in urine for up to 3–5 days, while the conventional method can detect it for 10–12 hours.

Can alcohol be detected in blood tests?

A few blood tests can determine if an individual has consumed alcohol or not. A blood alcohol content (BAC) test is frequently performed to determine whether an individual has consumed alcohol recently.

How long does wine stay in your system?

It takes roughly one hour for every unit of alcohol to leave your bloodstream. This depends on your age, gender, weight, and genetic aspects.

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