How Many Hours Until You Can Pass A Breathalyzer?


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Alex Wheeler answered
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors:

  • Your size and weight
  • Your gender
  • Your age
  • How much you have had to drink
  • What you have been drinking
  • Whether you have eaten at all, and if so, what you have been eating
Breathalyzers work by detecting alcohol in the breath. They can be incredibly accurate and will detect even small traces of blood alcohol content (BAC). For example, if you were to drink a mouthful of beer, and are breathalyzed 5 minutes later, the breathalyzer would recognize the alcohol in your system. For this reason, police are required to wait for 20 minutes after a person's last alcoholic drink before they breathalyze them, in order to ensure they achieve accurate results.

Contrary to popular belief, a coffee will not help you pass a breathalyzer test, and nor will a cooked breakfast. The only thing that will help is time. As a breathalyzer measures blood alcohol content, you need to wait until enough time has elapsed for the alcohol to have left your blood stream. Even if you do not feel drunk, you could still be over the legal drink-drive limit, and receive a DUI. As a general rule, the most sensible thing to do is to wait for at least 24 hours to pass after your last drink before you drive again. Sleep can help you feel the effects of alcohol less, but it will not necessarily clear the alcohol from your blood, so if you plan on drinking the day after a heavy night, you should exercise caution, or take public transport. It is never worth the risk to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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