How long does alcohol stay in your system?

Even though drinking alcohol is never advised, many of us nevertheless like to do it with friends and family. In addition to the numerous health risks, drinking and driving is regarded as a risky practice.

However, should drinking the previous evening make you nervous about operating a vehicle in the morning? We must first understand how long alcohol remains in our systems in order to respond to this complicated topic.

The exact time

It all depends on how fast your body is able to metabolise alcohol. Most people can break down half a drink every hour. Like if you drank 0.08 litre of alcohol (80 milliliters) and stop there, in two hours only 0.05 litre of alcohol will be left in your system.

A breathalyzer measures your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) by calculating alcohol content in the air you blow into it. So, you will get a DUI (Driving under the influence) if your BAC is 0.08. If you weigh around 72 kilos, four drinks are enough to put you there. But it is important to understand that every person has a different body and the effect of alcohol differs from person to person.

But you will be stunned to know that alcohol is detectable for up to 6 hours in blood after consumption; about 12-24 hours in your breath, urine, and saliva and up to 90 days in hair.

How long does alcohol stay in your system?


For your help, here is the percentage of alcohol in each drink. This will help you to keep a track of how many units you’ve consumed and you will know when it’s time to slow down.

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Vodka: 40-95%

Gin : 36-50%

Rum : 36-50%

Whiskey : 36-50%

Tequila: 50-51%

Liqueurs: 15%

Fortified Wine : 16-24%

Unfortified Wine : 14-16%

Beer : 4-8%

Malt Beverage : 15%

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