Social Treatment Opportunity Program



Have you ever asked yourself the question: How long does alcohol stay in your system? Well, you are not alone! The team at Social Treatment Opportunity Programs of Washington hears this concern quite a lot. Though there is no way to provide an exact formula to determine each persons Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), there are many factors to be considered on the topic. We have compiled useful information and resources in order to help educate and inform so that you are able to answer the frequently asked question for yourself.


Our bodies can only break down alcohol at a certain pace increased consumption leads to higher health risks because though it is able to break it down it can only handle so much per hour.  However, like anything else alcohol is absorbed through a process called metabolism, and though this process works the same way in every body many factors can effect the speed and effectiveness. For example, exposing your body to long term alcohol abuse can lessen the affects that some may feel from the substance. Factors like how much you consume at one time and the pace you are consuming it at can affect how quickly your liver is able to process the substance.  Other factors that can affect the rate that alcohol is metabolized in the body includes: weight, food, medications, gender, hormones, and more.

Blood Alcohol Content

Blood Alcohol Content is the percentage of blood that is concentrated with alcohol. Washington State law considers the legal driving limit of Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) to be 0.08. According to our bodies can absorb 1 ounce of alcohol per hour which is the equivalent to an average blood alcohol level of .015. Lets break that down further, say you consume 4 oz of alcohol according to this statistic it would take 4 hours for that amount of alcohol to be completely out of your system. However, alcohol can stay in your urine for up to 48 hours and can be detected from a breath test for up to 24 hours after the last drink.


Safe Drinking Tips:

  1. Plan Ahead: If you know that you plan on drinking large amounts on an evening out or at a party it is the safest bet to plan for a Designated Driver or use a ride service.
  2. Monitor: Keep track of your drinks and monitor how quickly you are consuming them. Remember your body can process 1oz per hour to maintain a 0.015 BAC.
  3. Utilize Tools Available: There are many useful tools available to help calculate your BAC. When in doubt, reference a blood alcohol calculator or chart.
  4. Be Safe! If you ever are in doubt whether you should drive after drinking, error on the side of caution. Nowadays there are many options available for rides that there is no reason to risk your health, safety, and the safety of others.


Read more from facts from our resources here: and WA State Licensing 

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Western Washington


Eastern Washington

EllensburgMoses LakeYakimaGrandview


Phone 253-471-0890

Tacoma Headquarters
Tacoma Mall Office Building
4301 S Pine Street, Suite 112
Tacoma, WA 98409

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