How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System? Blood & Urine

In testing, the type of test you take can also affect the result, as tests vary in sensitivity. The study authors suggested that all positive EtG results should be reviewed by a qualified health care professional. Reach out to a treatment provider for free today for immediate assistance. Therefore, if you choose to drink, it’s important to be aware of them. Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Alcohol can be detected in breast milk for as long approximately 12 hours.

  • The average urine test can detect alcohol up to 12 hours after drinking.
  • The amount of water in the body also goes down with age, contributing to a higher BAC.
  • For accuracy, at least two urine samples are usually collected 30 minutes to an hour apart.

To be considered legally intoxicated in the United States, a person’s BAC would be at or above 0.08%. Alcohol is also called ethanol, which is the main ingredient of alcoholic drinks like beer, wine, and liquor. When a person consumes alcohol, it is absorbed into the blood from the stomach and intestines. Alcohol consumption can cause effects on the brain even with just 1 or 2 drinks. Also, alcohol has a half-life of around 4 to 5 hours, meaning that’s how long it takes for your system to eliminate half of it. We offer inpatient, medical detox, intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization program (PHP) services based on your needs.

About the Author: New Choices Treatment Center

If you or someone you care about is struggling to stop using alcohol, our experts are ready to help. Contact us today to learn how we can help you start your journey to a healthier, alcohol-free future. Diet plays an essential role in overall health and can impact parts of the body that play an important role in metabolizing alcohol, such as the liver. While eating healthily after a night of drinking may not make a huge difference in how fast you sober up, maintaining a balanced diet in the long term can help make a difference. The legal alcohol limit to drive can theoretically change at any time if new legislation is created.

how long does alcohol stay in your system

Drinking water cannot sober you up, but it can prevent you from drinking too much too fast. Since you metabolize alcohol over a set amount of time, drinking water between drinks allows your liver time to process the alcohol. The length of time alcohol stays in the body will depend on factors such as individual features, how much a person has drunk, and how fast. Alcohol itself in urine has a relatively short detection window — usually up to 12 hours. But alcohol byproducts, such as ethyl glucuronide (EtG), can be detected in a person’s urine for up to 80 hours after they have consumed their last drink.

Is 0.05 A High Blood Alcohol Level?

For those who struggle with an alcohol use disorder, getting alcohol out of your system is an integral part of the addiction treatment process. The fastest way to get alcohol out of your system is through alcohol detox. Typically, withdrawal symptoms will set in within 6 to 24 hours after the last drink and last between three to seven days.

The scientific explanation is that your body metabolizes alcohol by oxidizing the ethanol to acetaldehyde (using alcohol dehydrogenase) to acetic acid to carbon dioxide and water. The final alcohol metabolites are not harmful, nor is the alcohol itself, however, the intermediate metabolite, acetaldehyde is the culprit in causing hangover effects. Once the alcohol enters the bloodstream, it goes to the liver to be metabolized and broken down.

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