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How Long Does Alcohol Stay On Your Breath And In Urine?

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Iris Phillips answered
Excessive alcohol consumption not only endangers the health and consequently the life of the individual drinking, but also the lives of those around them. Sadly, although everybody must be aware of the terrible, potentially fatal consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol, there are still individuals who will take the risk. For this reason, sophisticated tests have been developed to measure the content of alcohol within an individual's body.

  • Breath Test
As the individual to be tested exhales, the alcohol present in the breath is detected as it enters the breath analyzer. As the alcohol on the breath stems from being carried to the lungs by the blood, police officers usually ensure that the breath is coming from there, as opposed to from the throat or stomach. Depending on the frequency of alcohol consumption, sex and size of the person to be tested, alcohol is no longer detectable after approximately one to two hours.

  • Urine Test
Around 5% of the alcohol absorbed will reach the kidneys and be expelled with urine. As alcohol depresses the normal function of vasopressin, the hormone conserving fluid, alcohol is typically excreted within twenty minutes. Most urine tests will detect alcohol for around 48 hours after ingestion. An Etg Urine test, however, is able to confirm the ingestion of ethanol through the presence of ethyl glucuronide in the urine for three to four days after alcohol was consumed, or around 80 hours after the liver has broken down the alcohol.

  • Blood Test
In occasional drinkers, alcohol may be detected in the blood for 10 to 12 hours after ingestion. Habitual drinkers, however, will take much longer to process the alcohol, as the blood and organs have become used to storing alcohol. This can result in positive blood tests for up to a whole week.

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