How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your Blood?

Quick Answer with Calculation:

The method & calculation to eliminate alcohol from your blood:

The hours taken to eliminate (8 units or below of alcohol) from blood =
(Units consumed + 1 hour)

(2.5 units of alcohol = 1x pint 4% ABV normal strength lager OR 1x glass of 175ml normal strength wine)

So, 1 pint normal strength lager, (2.5 units) would take: 3.5 hours (2.5 + 1)

How long does alcohol clear the blood
Chart showing the no. of hours to clear the no. of consumed units of alcohol from the blood.


How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your Blood?

Long Answer:

One common question that you must have asked yourself and others if you happen to have indulged in binge drinking once in a while is that ‘how long does alcohol stay in your blood?’
Moreover, the most frequent reply that you may have received to that query is that it is anybody’s guess that how long the sweet poison is going to last within your system. However, that presumption is totally wrong because it is quite possible to deduce in a scientific manner the duration of time, which is going to pass before your body will be able to get rid of the amount of alcohol you have consumed previously. However, this is a complex calculation, which takes into account various factors, and is not going to yield any result if you continue to consume alcohol during the monitoring period.

The query regarding the duration during which the alcohol stay in blood has profound significance because the concentration of alcohol in the blood is the yardstick used by law enforcement agencies to determine whether any person has committed any task in an inebriated condition. The exact terminology used for indicating this measurement is Blood Alcohol Content or BAC, which is the count of how many parts of alcohol is present in every 10,000 parts of the blood sample. The lowest BAC count till which the measuring devices can accurately measure the blood alcohol level is 0.08%, which translates into an alcohol level of 8 parts per 10,000 parts of the blood analyzed. Another important figure that you must keep in mind while trying to keep your BAC numbers under check is that the body is capable of eliminating alcohol equivalent to 0.15 BAC every hour. Thus, keeping your hourly alcohol consumption under that level will help in keeping it out of your system.

If you are often wondering about how long does alcohol stay in your blood, and wish to pace your drink accordingly, then gaining a clear understanding regarding the different processes that involve alcohol metabolism will be of much help. The body is capable of metabolizing one unit of alcohol every hour, which equal about 10 ml of pure alcohol. This unit does not corresponds equally with different types of drinks, with a pint of low strength beer or cider corresponding to two units while a pint of stronger beer or cider accounting for three units. Similarly, a large glass of average strength wine containing 250 ml equals three units while a single measure of spirit which is around 25 ml being equal to a single unit. You need to bear these measures in your mind while pacing your drinks to make sure that you do not consume more that what your body can metabolize if you do not wish to bust any alcohol test the next morning or to get fined by the police for drunken driving.


How the Body Clears the Alcohol:

The alcohol that you consume travels through the epithelial cells of the stomach to reach the bloodstream. Of the total alcohol consumed, around 10% gets dissipated through urine, sweat, and breath. However, the rest, which amounts to a whopping 90%, needs to be metabolized by the blood and broken down into harmless acetic acid or vinegar. Moreover, this process of elimination takes its own time, and the rate of metabolism is independent of size and gender of the person concerned. However, the query regarding how long does alcohol stay in your blood, as well as it effects, depend on a number of other factors as well.


Can Men Clear Alcohol Quicker Than Women?

The gender of a person plays an important role in determining blood alcohol level because of the difference of water content between a man and a woman. Since men contain a higher percentage of water in their body than women, it has a larger diluting effect on the alcohol consumed by them. This helps in decreasing the rate of alcohol absorption by their body and a consequent lower BAC. Similarly, the size of a person is also important because a person with larger bodyweight will be able to handle effects of consuming a certain amount of alcohol more efficiently when compared to a slightly built person. Moreover, the age of person also plays an important role in answering the query regarding how long does alcohol stay in your blood because the rate of metabolism slows considerably with progressing age.

Similarly, the amount and type of alcohol consumed by a person, as well as, the time that elapsed since the said consumption also determines the BAC. In addition to that, the type of food consumed by the concerned person immediately before or while drinking also determines the rate of absorption of alcohol by the body. All these diverse factors help in determining the time during which alcohol stay in blood.

Tests for Alcohol:

Blood Alcohol Test is the most widely approved and preferred option for determining the BAC in any person. The blood test consist of drawing of blood specimen from a person suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, and then testing it with the help of the Gas Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry apparatus to determine the level of alcohol present in the specimen blood. Apart from the blood test, the Saliva Alcohol Test is also very popular for measuring the blood alcohol level, and particularly because of its non-invasive nature. However a blood test will give a more accurate reading of even the very minute traces of alcohol in the body. Similarly, the Alcohol Breath Test is another highly popular non-invasive method for measuring blood alcohol content with alcohol content in 2100 ml of alveolar air corresponding to that in 1 ml of blood, it is also used by many law enforcing agencies across the globe due to its portable size.
Thus, it is important to drink with caution to ensure the duration during which alcohol stay in blood does not lead to failed alcohol tests.
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