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How Long Does It Take to Sober Up After Drinking?


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    The answer to this question is: it depends.

    The rate at which your body metabolizes alcohol depends on a variety of factors.   Alcohol generally metabolizes in your liver.   The speed varies from person to person depending on gender, weight and other factors (listed in detail below).

    On average, however, a person’s BAC (blood alcohol concentration) — once you have stopped drinking — will drop by about 0.015 per hour.

    For example – on average:

    • If you have a max BAC of .08 (which is about 4-5 drinks for the average sized male), it will take about five and a half hours for the person to eliminate all of the alcohol in their system.

    Gender makes a difference as well.

    For the average-sized male, a BAC of 0.015 is equal to about two-thirds of a can of beer, or glass of wine or shot of whiskey. For the average-sized female, a 0.015 BAC is equal to about just one half of a standard drink (beer, wine or shot). (NHSTA Manual).

    So, the typical male will eliminate about two-thirds of a drink per hour, while the typical female will burn up about one half of a drink an hour.

    *Remember all of the facts and figures above are averages.  One individual’s ability to metabolize alcohol will depend on many factors, including: age, gender, medications taken, rate of consumption, whether you have eaten any food, strength of the drinks, alcohol tolerance, body type, overall health, among other factors.