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Factors that impact how long alcohol remains in your system

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2022 | DUI

If you go out for the night, have a few drinks and want to drive home, you may wonder – just how long will alcohol stay in your system?

This is a good question. It’s important to understand that there are a few factors that can impact how long alcohol is detectable in your system. Find out what these are to help you avoid a Virginia DUI charge.

What impacts how alcohol is metabolized in your body

Some of the things that will impact the way alcohol is metabolized in your body include:

  • Sex: It’s been shown that it takes women’s bodies longer to metabolize alcohol than men.
  • Weight: When you weigh less, it means there’s less water in your body. This also means that the BAC will be higher. The smaller you are, the higher your BAC will be even after a single drink.
  • Age: As you get older, your body starts to take longer to process alcohol.

It’s also important to note that certain medications and medical conditions can impact how alcohol is processed in your body.

How long will tests detect alcohol in your body?

Because each person is unique, the way your body processes alcohol varies. While this is true, there are some general amounts of time that different tests will be able to detect alcohol. For example:

  • Breath test – 24 hours
  • Blood test – 12 hours
  • Hair test – 90 days
  • Saliva test – 48 hours
  • Urine test – five days

Protecting yourself from DUI charges

Knowing how your body metabolizes alcohol and how long tests can detect it is helpful; however, you still need to use caution after drinking. Be sure to keep this in mind, and if you are arrested for DUI, protect your rights by not saying too much about what you have been doing.