All About How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Blood?

  • Post category:Alcohol

Are you having a drug test? Do you take alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, whiskey occasionally and wondering how long does alcohol stay in your blood? Here we are with the complete information that helps you to know the precautions you should take day/days before the drug test and know how long does alcohol stay in your blood test.

An average drink takes half an hour for the body to eliminate one standard of drink. One drink is 12 fluid ounces of beer, 5 fluid ounces of wine, or one shot of liquor.

If you drink alcohol on weekends or certain celebrations, then your body will take time to eliminate it from the blood. On the other hand, a person with a high tolerance of the drink can remove it from the blood more rapidly. However, there are many more factors that are responsible for determining the time for which the alcohol stays in the blood.

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Blood System for Drug Test?

Alcohol in the body can be tested using different samples like blood, urine, breath, saliva, and hair. Generally, the period for which traces of the liquor in different samples remain vary. Also, the number of hours depends on the quantity of drink you consume. Since alcohol is metabolized in the liver, the size of liver, body mass, age play an impactful role to determine how long does alcohol stay in your blood for a drug test.

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Blood System

Find the information about how long does alcohol stay in your blood and urine:

  • Blood: Up to 6 hours
  • Breath: 12-24 hours
  • Urine: 12-24 hours
  • Saliva: 12-24 hours
  • Hair: 90 days

The presence of two chemicals ethanol and ethyl glucuronide (EtG) gives the positive test for the alcohol in the blood.

How the Alcohol is Metabolized in the System?

The metabolism of alcoholic drink takes place in the liver, but the overall process is somewhat different from what of the actual food. When the alcohol reaches the upper gastrointestinal tract, it gets absorbed by the blood. The blood carries it to the brain and thus the person shows the sign of being drunk.

If the stomach is filled with food, the alcohol is absorbed in the lesser amount in the stomach and is transit into the small intestine where it is rapidly absorbed by the bloodstream.

How Long Does it Take for Alcohol To Effect Body & Mind?

A healthy person taking a drink usually feel the effect after 15 to 45 minutes. On the other hand, the person (man) with zero tolerance will show the sign of intoxication when their Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) reaches 0.05%.

For women of weight 150 pounds, the BAC of 0.1% (4 drinks in an hour) will start displaying the sign of intoxication.

Factors Affecting How Long Does Alcohol Stay in your Blood for a Blood Test

The presence or absence of alcohol traces in the system after a certain duration depends on various factors including; Gender of a person, whether filled or empty stomach, body weight, and age.

Get the brief idea of how certain factor determines how long the alcohol stay in the blood and urine.


Male have more water in their body than females, thus they have a higher alcohol tolerance. Also, men have more enzymes that help in breaking down the alcohol in their stomach. Thus, their blood and body system might get rid of alcohol at a faster rate as compared to women.

Having Food Before Drinking

If you consume enough food before drinking, then the alcohol does not mix with blood in the stomach and rapidly move to the intestine thus helps you in maintaining a low level of alcohol. Also, consuming the food rich in protein like tofu or cheese along with drink will reduce the absorption level of alcohol in the blood.


The body with more weight will have more tolerance for alcohol. Since more the body weight more the need for alcohol to increase the blood alcohol level. However, the same is not true for the fatty body. So, if you are having a fatty body, the alcohol enters the blood quickly than the person with the slimmer body.

Strength of Drink

How many ounces of drink you had? Determining the quantity of alcohol helps you in determining the absorption rate. Generally, harder the alcohol more will be the absorption rate thus it will stay in the system for a longer period.

Hormone Level

It plays an impactful role in determining the absorption of alcohol in blood or blood alcohol level. Women consuming a normal level of alcohol before menstruation absorb the drink at a faster rate and hence more will be the percentage.


Mood determines the quantity of alcohol you consume and how the body metabolized and react towards it. Generally, the alcohol kick of the person bad mood at BAC equals 0.02 to 0.05 percent. When the BAC reaches to 0.07 the mood may worsen. The person with depression or anxiety may experience stressful emotions and the metabolism of alcohol in the body system.


Age is another important factor that plays a vital role in determining the intoxication level. Since aged people have less water percentage, body fat, decreased metabolism that affects the person differently after alcohol consumption.

After How Long Alcohol is Not Detected on a Blood Test?

The time for which the alcohol traces remain in the blood and can be easily detected are:

  • Blood: up to 6 hours
  • Breathalyzer: 12-24 hours
  • Saliva: 12-24 hours
  • Urine: 12-24 hours for older method, 72 hours for a newer method that can detect ethanol metabolites
  • Hair- up to 90 days

How Does the Body Remove Alcohol from the Body?

When the alcohol enters the body, it enters the upper gastrointestinal tract i.e. stomach and intestine. From there the alcohol absorbs into the blood which then passes to the liver and other organs of the body, including heart and brain. It reaches all the body tissues except bone and fat.

In the liver, the alcohol is breakdown which then is passed to the kidneys, urine, skin, and lungs. Also, heavy drinking eliminates vitamin and minerals from the body that leads to a hangover.

Here Are Some Common Myths Associated with Sobering Up

There is a common myth among the people that consuming certain drinks or engaging in the physical activity helps in better metabolism of alcohol in the body. Also, many products in the market claim to flush the alcohol out of your system. But these are only some common myth and play no role in sobering up.

In all following activities does not help in improving the overall metabolism or sobering up.

  • Exercising
  • Vomiting
  • Eating after drinking
  • Drinking coffee, energy drinks or other similar beverages
  • Taking a cold shower.

Wrapping Up

So, if you are having a drug test in your company or want to keep yourself safe after hours of consuming alcohol, then keep in mind the above information of how long does alcohol stay in your system for a blood test. Since many companies follow a strict drug test before offering an appointment letter it is therefore important to keep yourself safe and avail the job you desire.

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