How long it takes alcohol to leave your system depends on the amount of alcohol that has been consumed. The amount of alcohol that has entered the bloodstream is referred to as blood alcohol content (BAC). Factors that affect BAC are gender, weight, and the number of drinks consumed and the time period they were consumed in. For example, a 140 pound female who consumes four drinks within a three hour time period will have a BAC of about .094. A 200 pound man who drinks the same amount in the same time period will have a BAC of about .041.
Generally speaking, alcohol leaves your system at a rate of .015 per hour. Still using the two examples above, there would be no measurable alcohol in the woman's body in about 6-1/4 hours, and the man's body in about 2-3/4 hours. Below is a list of BACs and the approximate time it takes for alcohol to leave your system.
- A BAC of .02 will take about 1.33 hours to leave your system.
- A BAC of .05 will take about 3.33 hours to leave your system.
- A BAC of .08 (the legal limit in the United States) will take about 5.33 hours to leave your system.
- A BAC of .10 will take about 6.66 hours to leave your system.
- A BAC of .15 will take about 10 hours to leave your system.
To control your BAC eat while you are drinking, drink slowly, avoid playing drinking games, and alternate between alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks. Tricks to help alcohol leave your system faster, such as drinking coffee or taking a shower, do not work.