Skip to Content

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?

December 12, 2018 | Category: DUI Accidents | Share

Many will be celebrating over the holiday season, and these celebrations often include alcoholic beverages. Whether holidays are celebrated in home settings or commercial establishments, such as restaurants and bars, knowing how long alcohol stays in the system can be complicated.

How long does alcohol stay in your system - Spivey LawAmerican Addiction Centers (AAC) says the detection of alcohol in the body, saliva, on the breath, or in urine depends on several factors. Here is basic information from the AAC:

“Although alcohol passes through the digestive system, it requires little to no actual digestion. Once consumed, 20 percent of the substance moves directly from the upper gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream, where it is carried throughout the body and travels to the brain. The rest enters the bloodstream somewhat more slowly after being absorbed by the small intestine. This process may be somewhat slowed when there’s food in the stomach and intestines, which may slightly delay the onset of intoxication. As alcohol circulates through the bloodstream, the liver begins to break it down via a sequence of metabolic processes. Despite the fact that people get intoxicated from alcohol at different rates and from different amounts of the substance, a healthy liver will generally metabolize the substance at a fairly uniform rate regardless of sex, race, or weight. Despite this generally uniform rate, metabolization in the liver is not the only factor that determines how fast alcohol leaves the body.” agrees there are other factors that may influence the windows of alcohol detection in the body. These include

  • Age
  • How fast alcohol is consumed
  • Ethnicity
  • Body fat content
  • How much food is consumed before or during the drinking episode
  • Fat content of food consumed
  • Medication the individual is currently taking

Trying to accurately determine when it is safe to drive following the consumption of alcohol is indeed complicated and should never be the plan of the day. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says that dunk driving is still the #1 cause of death on our roadways.  Here are some sobering statistics:

  • Adults drink too much and drive about 121 million times per year, or more than 300,000 incidents of drinking and driving a day.
  • There are 10,876 deaths a year which equates to 30 deaths every day and one death every 50 minutes.
  • There are 290,000 injuries per year which means, exponentially, more friends, family members and loved ones are unnecessarily impacted by this preventable crime.

Instead of trying to calculate when it is safe to drive following a drinking episode, make a plan ahead of time to have a designated driver, such as a friend or reliable taxi service. Doing so could save your life or the life of another driver or passenger on the road.

“If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of an intoxicated or drugged driver, please seek medical attention first, then contact our experienced legal team. We are available 24/7 to assist you and your family, even over the holiday period,” said Fort Myers DUI Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey.


Hurt By Drunk Driver Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.





Contact Us


Spivey Law Firm Logo Spivey Law Firm 13400 Parker Commons Blvd.
Fort Myers, Florida 33912

(239) 337-7483

Free Consultation