How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your System

How long does it take for alcohol to leave your system? It is an important question that many of us fail to ask or simply do not need to ask because we can not care any less about the answer.

But it is an important question that many of the alcoholics who are going through detox might ask and they are trying to understand that process that their body is going through. Now there are a number of variables that affect the time the alcohol remains in your system. We will discuss these variables here.

However, some people are out there who want to know the answer to this question because of drug testing. They want to know the time taken for flushing out the alcohol from your system. These can be because of legal problems or something else. We don’t know what you are here for but whatever the reason may be, we are not here to pry. So without any further ado let’s get right into this article.

How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your System


Alcohol is a depressant that works very quickly. It affects your body so quickly that you will feel its effects quite clearly. As soon as you consume alcohol, you can feel the alcohol going through your body and your bloodstream. It affects your body too. Since it is a depressant you will feel it depressing your central nervous system. It impairs communication with the brain, creating a new perception, and also affects the movements and senses of your body. This gives off that drunken state that people go for after consuming alcohol.

People who are accustomed to drinking alcohol will make it feel like they have a relaxed environment after having a day or two but for those who are first-timers or beginners then they might experience angry outbursts or violent behavior.

The speech of the individual becomes slurred. Their walking becomes uncoordinated and your senses dull. The judgment of the person is compromised after a heavy intake of alcohol. It takes some time to get clear of the influence that one goes under after the consumption of alcohol.

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Several people have been asking these questions for a long period of time. People ask this question when suddenly they need to sober up or maybe they need to get to their senses quickly because they are needed for something.

Some myths are going around for centuries that are supposed to cure your hangover. It is the myth that drinking coffee will cure your hangover but actually this makes it much worse. Taking a cold shower is also used to cure a hangover but it does not actually work.

It takes about 4 to 5 hours to reduce half the effect of alcohol in the body. Therefore you know that people take more time to metabolize alcohol than absorbing it. Your time of intoxication depends on your blood alcohol concentration.

This is the ratio of the alcohol to the water present in your blood at the moment. Two people can have the same blood alcohol concentration but they can take different times to metabolize the alcohol in their blood which results in two different times of alcohol effects wearing off. This depends on a lot of other factors too that we are going to discuss next.

How quickly a person metabolizes alcohol depends on:

  • Sex (male or female)
  • Weight
  • Age
  • How much food eaten
  • Type of alcohol
  • Liver Problems
  • How quickly the alcohol was consumed
  • Metabolism Speed
  • If there are other substances involved

On average, the body can eliminate 0.015% blood alcohol concentration per hour. It depends on the person and the type of alcohol that the person is consuming too. So you can conclude that for one hour of drink it stays in the body for more than 2 hours. If you have two glasses of wine then it can take up to 6 hours.

An alcoholic can drink a lot of alcohol. They might drink 2 bottles of wine and then it takes more than 15 hours to metabolize the alcohol in their bloodstream. This depends on varying of stuff so this can be difficult to pinpoint. It differs from person to person.


The thing is that this question is not quite answerable. The time period that your body will endure before the alcohol leaves your system differs from your person to person. It depends on a lot of other factors too. There is one way to determine it by looking at the blood alcohol concentration.

This calculation is based on the amount of alcohol that the person has consumed in an hour. The weight, gender, and genetics of the person are also taken into consideration. Now there are different tests that are available for detecting the amount of alcohol that the person currently has in their body. It is different for individual human beings so you can conclude that for yourself.

Across the United States, the states enforce a standard measurement of 0.08%. This is beyond the legal limit of blood alcohol concentration. Over this, a person can not handle any vehicle. Even after the effect of alcohol wears off, it can stay in the bloodstream for a long period of time. Depending on your body system, alcohol can stay in your body for varied periods of time.

Alcohol can be found in your hair 90 days after consuming alcohol too! The alcohol is present and detectable in the saliva or mouth for up to 24 hours. It can be detected in the bloodstream for up to 12 hours or more if your body has some variations. It can also be detected in the urine of the person for up to 5 days.


Withdrawal also varies from person to person. An alcoholic who stops drinking will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms after 6 hours. This withdrawal procedure can last days, weeks, or even months. Most withdrawal symptoms can peak around 24-72 hours after the last drink. This is varying from person to person. However, it is more or less the same for a lot of people. You need to test it out once so that you can understand it.

Withdrawal symptoms can include:

Here are some of the withdrawal symptoms that you will probably experience.

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Heart palpitations or rapid heart rate
  • Shaking hands
  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Headaches

Detox should always be handled with professionals when it comes to alcoholics. When the people who are hardcore alcohol addicts consider going through the detox procedure to become sober then there are a lot of freaking ways in which one can be caused harm and their life threatened.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be very severe and this calls for the assistance of a professional. The pain of the withdrawal symptoms can be very acute and some people find it especially difficult to get through this stage. If there are long terms of alcohol abuse then medical assistance is always advised.

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We hope that this article has been useful for you and that you have got some help from it. If in case your friend is going through withdrawal symptoms then be there for him/her and try to provide them support.

If the case is too serious then try going to a professional and ask for help. There is no shame in doing so. We hope that the article is useful. Thank you so much for reading this article. Do recommend this article to someone you need. Have a very nice day!

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