How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your System for Blood Tests, Urine Tests, etc?

There are many reasons you would want to know how long alcohol stays in your system for, and the most common reason is because you have some type of alcohol test coming up, to see whether or not you’ve been drinking.

It could be something for the peace of mind of your partner, something your family insists that you do, it could be for work, or it could be for legal reasons like probation. Otherwise, it could just be a breathe test while you’re pulled over on the side of the road for driving erratically.

Whatever the reason is, there’s a good chance that when you’re searching the internet for phrases like “how long does alcohol stay in your system”, you probably did some drinking when you shouldn’t have been drinking.

We’re not here to lecture you, in fact, people who struggle with alcoholism are often all-too-aware of their issues, it’s usually not a big surprise. So, first of all, we’re going to take you through the answers that you’re looking for in regards to how long alcohol stays in the system. If you want to navigate away from this page after that, and just carry on with your life, that’s perfectly within your rights – by all means – figure out how much you can drink leading up to an alcohol test, time it perfectly, then pass your test and carry on with your life…


Hopefully, you’ll keep reading a little further, just give us a couple of minutes in return for providing you with the answers you were looking for. Take a few things into consideration, just hear us out before you carry on with your day and your life… that’s all we ask, okay?

But first, here’s exactly what you’re looking for…

How Long Alcohol Stays in Your System, and How Long Alcohol Can Be Detected in the Body

Technically, based on the numbers below, alcohol stays “in your system” for up to 90 days, but that’s only because a hair test can detect it for up to 90 days. Most other tests work between 12-24 hours,

How Long Can Alcohol Be Detected in Blood?

Alcohol can be detected in blood for up to 6 hours.

Blood alcohol tests are not one of the most effective ways to test for alcohol, since somebody could be drinking the night before and then still pass their test a few hours later.

Remember, we said “COULD still pass”, but there’s no guarantee. If you have a blood test coming up, for alcohol, you really shouldn’t just wait six hours, it might not be enough time to pass.

And of course, if there’s a serious enough reason for you to have this test, you really shouldn’t be drinking in the first plcae, or you should at least evaluate how you can stay out of these types of situations in the future – but again – we’re not here to preach, we just want to give you the info you’re seeking.

How Long Can Alcohol Be Detected in Breath?

Alcohol can be detected on breath for 12-24 hours.

You’ve probably heard of the famous “Breathilizer” test for alcohol. It’s what police officers use when they pull you over, and it’s also used in other situations.

Unlike other types of tests, like if you’re on probation and you need to pass a urine test for alcohol, the breathalyzer is usually given on the spot, when you’ve already clearly been drinking, so this isn’t one that you can really try to plan ahead for, so to speak.

How Long Can Alcohol Be Detected in Urine?

Alcohol can be detected in urine for 12-24 hours.

Urine tests are common for people who are on probation, and even people participating in certain sports or other high-stakes things that require somebody to be completely sober and free from any influence of alcohol.

If you’ve consumed alcohol in the past 24 hours, there’s a good chance that at least some trace amount will show up in a urine test. It’s possible to pass the test 12 hours later, but the more time passes, the more likely that the test will not be able to detect alcohol anymore.

How Long Can Alcohol Be Detected in Saliva?

Alcohol can be detected in saliva for 12-24 hours.

Saliva tests are another way that people can test somebody for alcohol in their system. There are a number of different companies who make these tests.

How Long Can Alcohol Be Detected in Hair?

Alcohol can be detected in hair for up to 90 days.

Hair is the method of testing how long alcohol stays in your system that gives you the longest amount of time. While most methods can detect it within a few hours or a day, hair can detect alcohol for up to three months.

If you want to know if somebody has drank within the past few months, then none of the other types of tests are going to work, but a hair test can let you know.

How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your System? It’s Longer Than You’d Think…

While the alcohol itself usually is undetectable after about a day or so, that doesn’t mean the long-lasting effects of alcohol are going to suddenly go away. So, in a sense, the “alcohol” is still in your system, since its impact remains long after you’ve put the bottle down. The effects of quitting drinking are still worth it, even if it’s not an easy path it’s much better than the alternative.

There is a price and a toll that comes from alcoholism, long after you’ve taken your final sip, but the thing that you need to remember is that it’s better to stop sooner so that you’re doing less harm in the meantime.

Alcohol takes its toll, any drinking will confirm this. Not everybody pays the same price, but if you’re still here and you’re able to read this, it’s not too late for you to improve your future. is a community of people, helping one another to overcome alcoholism. What is alcoholism? Well, that answer can vary from person to person, but the effects of drinking alcohol have been measured for many years, and we really hope you’ll consider evaluating if you may have a problem.

It’s hard to admit it, sometimes, if you’re an alcoholic.

You probably know the truth, but admitting it means that you have to make some difficult changes in your life.

We’re here to remind you that these changes are for the best, and you can start a new chapter in your life, and we’re here to help.

If you’re at a point where you have to take tests to see if you’ve drank alcohol or not, where you’re wondering how long alcohol stays in your system, that’s a pretty strong indication that something needs to change with your drinking habits, right? Is that a fair assumption to make?

Thanks for sticking around to hear a little bit more about this project and what we do. Whether you decide to seek support for alcoholism now, or you’re not quite ready, or you’re not convinced there’s any point in it, we still welcome to you stick around a while and be a part of our growing community.

Category: Addiction
Martijn van Eijk
Martijn is a passionate creator and the driving force behind He created this website to assist individuals and their families in conquering alcohol addiction and finding a joyful, fulfilling life after alcohol. With a deep understanding of the challenges they face, he empowers readers with valuable insights and practical guidance on their journey towards recovery. Author of the Stop Shaking Book.