How long does alcohol stay in your system? It is a question often asked after a round of heavy consumption. The tricky part of consuming alcohol is how quickly it absorbs in the body but how slowly it leaves. In addition, the effects of alcohol vary from person to person. For example, some people feel the intoxicating effects of an alcoholic beverage after a glass or two, while others can handle more amounts. Therefore, understanding how alcohol works in the body is vital to minimising its harmful risks. For example, high doses pose health and safety risks in driving and at work. This is because it impairs perception, senses, and motor functions from minor to significant degrees.
Effects of Alcohol in the Body
Alcohol is a volatile substance that quickly enters various body organs through the blood. However, how long does alcohol stay in your system, and how do they affect the body? Intoxication is the body’s response to high alcohol consumption. Even though they affect each person differently, health experts consider intoxication starts at the first sip. When alcohol enters the body, it quickly passes from the stomach to the bloodstream. Then, the blood distributes alcohol to different organs like the lungs, heart, brain, kidney, and liver. This process happens within a few minutes; thus, a person can feel the effects immediately. In particular, vaporised alcohol exits the body through exhalation. Therefore, a breathalyser can measure a person’s alcohol level through ethanol vapour. Using advanced sensor technology, devices from Breathalysers Australia efficiently measure Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).
Different consumption rates have various degrees of intoxication. The more a person consumes alcohol, the greater the impairment. For example, drinking the night before a workplace breath test may incur a positive result without proper monitoring. Additionally, many people ask, “how long does alcohol stay in your system” to determine the time it takes for the effects to subside. The short-term effects of alcohol include:
- Elevated mood (feelings of relaxation or euphoria)
- Lowered inhibitions
- Blurred vision
- Reduced hearing
- Loss of coordination
- Difficulty focusing or making decisions
- Gaps in memory
How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System: Factors on Blood Alcohol Content
It takes 15 to 20 minutes for the body to absorb alcohol from the stomach to the bloodstream and lungs. Therefore, to estimate how long does alcohol stay in your system, you need to determine the BAC level first. The BAC is the per cent of alcohol in the blood. It is the amount of ethanol in grams for every 100ml of blood. Moreover, various factors influence the BAC, such as weight, age, gender, body fat, and metabolism. Likewise, the increase of BAC also depends if the person is consuming alcohol on an empty stomach or taking prescribed drugs. It is because food can slow down the absorption of alcohol. Also, medications interact with alcohol compounds that can cause the BAC to increase rapidly. However, while the body absorbs alcohol rapidly, it breaks down alcohol at a constant rate.
How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System: The Burn-off Rate
How long does alcohol stay in your system, and can you speed it up? Alcohol can be detected in the blood for up to 12 hours and the urine for 24 hours, depending on the intake amount. Regardless of the person’s age, weight, or gender, the body metabolises alcohol at a constant rate of 0.016% BAC per hour. This BAC amount is equal to one standard drink. Therefore, consuming more than one standard drink every hour will take longer for alcohol to leave the body entirely. For instance, each bottle or can of alcoholic drink indicates the number of standard drinks. However, an efficient way of checking your BAC is through a breathalyser like the BACtrack. It is a portable device that examines exhaled breath to estimate the BAC.
How long does alcohol stay in your system to be detected by a breathalyser? The device can trace alcohol within 20 minutes from consumption and up to 12 hours later. For example, if your BAC is 0.02%, you could sober up after two hours. However, if your BAC is 0.10% which is twice the legal limit in Australia (0.05%), it would take 7 hours for alcohol to leave your system. Unfortunately, there is no way to speed up the burn-off rate of alcohol. As a result, many people use a personal breathalyser to monitor their blood alcohol levels. Breathalysers Australia offers various alcohol testers suiting different needs.
The BACtrack Breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia
Many people use a personal breathalyser to estimate when their sobriety will return conveniently. In addition, health and safety experts recommend testing the BAC with a breathalyser device to check the BAC level while consuming alcohol. Devices like the BACtrack breathalysers are efficient monitoring tools and help deter excessive consumption. Therefore, you no longer need to ask, “how long does alcohol stay in your system?” with a breathalyser. Moreover, Breathalysers Australia presents several breath testing options through the BACtrack alcohol testers. Each device has distinctive features suiting particular circumstances. You may choose a breathalyser based on the following:
- Personal – small alcohol testers like the BACtrack keychains (BACtrack Go and C6) are ideal for quick alcohol screening tests. In addition, most personal devices at Breathalysers Australia have fuel cell breathalysers with police-grade accuracy. For example, the BACtrack S80 Pro utilises the Xtend fuel cell sensors for the highest precision in alcohol breath testing.
- Smartphone – the BACtrack C6 and C8 are breathalysers with optional Bluetooth connectivity. Meanwhile, the Mobile Pro is a premier smartphone breathalyser suitable for remote alcohol testing and monitoring. The devices connect to a smartphone app to deliver BAC results. Furthermore, the app can record previous BAC results, estimate sobriety through the ZeroLine technology, and integrate with Apple Health tools.
- Workplace – the Gen2 series of BACtrack has enlarged electrochemical fuel cell sensors, suitable for workplace use. They can measure the BAC thoroughly over complete concentrations of alcohol from 0.000 to 0.400%.
How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System: Importance of Alcohol Testing
Why is it important to know how long does alcohol stay in your system? High alcohol levels lead to erratic behaviour, impaired judgment, and reduced driving ability. For example, poor coordination can lead to car crashes or collisions. Similarly, alcohol impairment at work can cause accidents, poor productivity, and high costs. It also poses long-term health risks. Therefore, many lives are affected each year by alcohol-related incidents. By checking your BAC, you can immediately decide the best recourse to take. You may slow down your consumption when you see your BAC level is near or over the legal limit. It also helps determine if you are fit to drive or wait for more hours. Breathalysers Australia has helped thousands of individuals and industries manage risks and assist in every vital safety decision.