How Long Does Alcohol Stay In The Body? - Detox Plus UK

If you’re curious about how long alcohol stays in your system, it can take approximately an hour for one drink of alcohol to leave the body.

If you go to work or drive the next day or have a random works drug test, you may wonder if you are completely sober and if there is any trace of alcohol left in your system. Does it dissipate and become absorbed right away, or does it remain? 

How Long Does Alcohol Stay In The Body a hand holding a car key

How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your System?

Unlike food or other types of drugs, alcohol requires little to no digestion in terms of needing to break it down into a digestible form. Once in the stomach, 20 per cent of the alcohol moves directly into the small blood vessels carrying water and nutrients. The remaining 80 per cent moves into the small intestines, where it enters another group of small blood vessels that travel through the body.

How The Body Processes Alcohol

Determining exactly how long alcohol stays in the body depends on many factors, including which kind of drug test is being used. When testing for alcohol levels, there are a few different methods that can be used. One common test is a breathalyzer, which measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath. Another test is a blood alcohol test, which measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood. Both tests are typically used in situations where alcohol consumption is suspected, such as after a car accident or during a DUI stop. It’s important to understand the options for testing alcohol levels so that you can make informed decisions about your own health and safety.

It’s important to note that alcohol can interact with prescription drugs in unexpected ways, potentially causing harmful side effects. Some prescription medications can intensify the effects of alcohol, leading to impaired judgment and increased risk of accidents or injuries. Other medications may be less effective when taken with alcohol, making it crucial to follow dosage instructions carefully. It’s always a good idea to talk to a healthcare provider about the risks of drinking alcohol while taking prescription drugs and to avoid consuming alcohol if advised to do so. Your health and safety should always be a top priority.

How long can alcohol stay in your blood system?

If you have had a drink lately, you may wish to know how long it will stay and be detected in your bloodstream. However, measuring the time it lasts before disappearing from your system can depend on many factors. It can be affected by the amount of alcohol you have consumed, its strength, type and measure, and how many drinks you have had.


If you judge a person with healthy liver functions, it can take approximately an hour for one unit of alcohol to leave the body. This may differ if your liver is not working correctly or you are taking medication. It generally takes the human body about an hour to break down a single unit of alcohol. However, various considerations may impact how quickly alcohol disappears, including an individual’s gender, age and weight. How long does it take for the effects of drinking to wear off?

The time it takes can depend on your metabolism, which is based on how much you have had to eat and how quickly your body can turn food into energy. If you are younger, you have a quick metabolism and can process it in less time than an older person. It takes longer for alcohol to leave a woman’s body than a man’s, and it can significantly affect a lighter person than someone heavier.

Drink Responsibly And Safely

Understanding the rate at which the system metabolizes alcohol can help prevent the dangerous consequences of excessive alcohol consumption. However, if you struggle to drink safely and in moderation, it may be time to seek professional help. Contact a treatment provider today to learn about rehabilitation options.

    Free callback service

    We offer a free callback
    service 24/7. Enter your
    number below and one of our
    addiction counsellors
    will call you back shortly.

    footer image

    Ready to start ? We're here for you


    Call Us for Any Questions