How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?

How long does alcohol stay in your system?

Whether you’re relaxing after a long day at the office with a glass of wine or grabbing a cold one with your friends, alcohol is one of the most widely used drugs today. However, despite being socially accepted and legal for adults over 21, it can lead to dangerous situations.

From drinking and driving to the possibility of passing alcohol to your baby in breastmilk, it’s important to know how this drug affects your body and your life. Below, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about alcohol and how long it stays in your system.

How long does alcohol stay in your urine?

Alcohol can be detected in urine for 12 to 24 hours, although the specific duration will vary based on the test used, the amount of alcohol consumed, and other factors. Note that new tests are being used that can detect it for up to 72 hours.

How long does alcohol stay in your blood?

Alcohol can be detected in blood for about 6 hours. Of all the testing methods, blood testing is the most accurate but has the shortest duration. However, this varies based on multiple factors, including the amount of alcohol consumed and the test used. 

How long does alcohol stay in your system for a probation drug test?

Alcohol stays in your system for different amounts of time, depending on the test type. For instance, if your probation officer uses breath testing, it can be detected between 12 and 72 hours, depending on the test. If your probation officer uses blood testing, which is rare, it will be about 6 hours. If they give you a saliva test, it will show up for 12 to 24 hours.

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How long does alcohol stay in your system for breastfeeding?

According to the CDC, alcohol stays in breastmilk for up to 3 hours per drink after being ingested. However, the more alcohol you consume over time, the longer it remains in your breastmilk. If you are breastfeeding, you should not consume alcohol.

Breastfeeding your baby is highly recommended by doctors and government agencies alike, but not if you consume alcohol. Breastmilk contains all the nutrition the baby needs, helps support the immune system and improves gut health.

How long can a breathalyzer detect alcohol?

A breathalyzer can detect alcohol on your breath as soon as 15 minutes after consuming alcohol. Alcohol stays on your breath for between 12 and 24 hours. Note that this varies a great deal depending on several different factors. 

Your body mass is perhaps the most significant of these, but the strength of your drinks will also affect it. A better rule of thumb is to realize that the body automatically eliminates alcohol at the rate of roughly .015% BAC per hour or one drink every hour. So, if you have a single drink and wait an hour or so, it will have already been eliminated.

How long does alcohol stay in your system for a pre-employment drug test?

If your employer requires a pee test before offering you a position, it’s wise to abstain from drinking a day or two before. This is because alcohol can show up in urine testing for 2 to 12 hours. Still, the amount that you consume and how recent also plays a significant role.

How long does it take for alcohol to leave your system?

There is no single answer to how long it takes alcohol to leave your system. Many factors play a role here, including your unique alcohol metabolism. To understand this, we need to delve deeper into how the body metabolizes alcohol.

First, the alcohol goes to your stomach. Some people have stomach enzymes that start the digestive process, and that prevents some of the alcohol from hitting your system in the first place. This isn’t true for everyone, though. Men tend to have higher levels of aldehyde dehydrogenase and alcohol dehydrogenase than women, and those who drink regularly usually have lower levels, too. 

After the stomach, the liver steps in. The liver is where most of the processing occurs, as the liver will filter out about 90% of the alcohol you’ve consumed. Your body also excretes alcohol from the lungs, through the kidneys, and even the skin.

In addition to your unique alcohol metabolism, you need to factor in the amount you’ve consumed and the strength of each drink. For example, a beer that is 5% ABV will have less alcohol than one that has 8% ABV. The same applies to wine, cocktails, and different types of liquor.

Another factor here is that alcohol can take a very long time to leave your system completely. Most tests are based on the half-life of alcohol or the length of time it takes your body to eliminate half of it. Your body needs around five half-lives to eliminate alcohol from the system. Add to that the fact that many of today’s more advanced tests can detect incredibly low alcohol levels.

How long does alcohol take to metabolize?

Everyone has a different alcohol metabolic rate. Men tend to process alcohol faster than women, and the more you weigh, the less alcohol has overall as it is diffused in body mass. Hydration level also plays a role because there’s more alcohol volume in your blood if you’re less hydrated. 

Other factors that affect how long alcohol takes to metabolize:

  • Medications you take that might interact.
  • Health conditions – liver, stomach, and kidney conditions that slow down alcohol metabolism.

Get Help for Alcohol Addiction at North Star Treatment Services

Are you struggling with alcohol abuse? Drinking can destroy your body, your life, and even your relationships with those you love. There is help, though. So get in touch with us at North Star Treatment Services and start moving forward once more.