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How long does alcohol stay in the system?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2023 | Drunk Driving

Being charged with drunk driving can be stressful. You may face harsh penalties, from fines to potential imprisonment. Further, a drunk driving charge on your record can significantly affect your life. So, it will help to fight it.

You may have heard people talking about waiting for some time after drinking to get behind the wheel. But does it work?

Here is what you need to know about alcohol staying in your system.

One drink, one hour

Research shows that, on average, the body takes one hour to eliminate one standard drink. But this may not always be the case. Alcohol may still be detected in your body after this period. This may be due to different reasons, including: 

  • Type of test – A blood or breath alcohol test may not detect alcohol after one hour, but a urine test can. Therefore, even if alcohol is not detected with the former procedures, it may still be in your body, just in small undetectable amounts. 
  • Gender – Men metabolize alcohol faster than women. Thus, a woman may fail an alcohol test after one hour with the same number of drinks a man had. 
  • Food – if you had eaten before the one drink, alcohol can be metabolized faster than someone who hadn’t eaten.

These and more factors can determine if the one-hour rule works for you or not.

What should you do?

If your test is positive despite waiting for an hour before driving, you should consider your options to fight this charge. In addition, be careful about what you say to the police to avoid incriminating yourself. It will be best to politely decline to answer questions.

If you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, you should get legal help to defend yourself.