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How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your System Breathalyzer?

Many people that regularly drink alcohol may be interested to know how long does alcohol stay in my body? This is a question that’s fairly common especially after you’ve had a long night of drinking or when you are interested in operating a motor vehicle. Understanding how long alcohol stays in your body will help you to prevent accidents, can help you to improve professionalism in the workplace and more. Alcohol can be especially harmful to the body if a person heavily consumes alcohol or if a person regularly remains in an intoxicated state over a long period of time.

How long does alcohol stay in your system? And how long is it detectable by breathalyzer?

Depending on the amount of alcohol that an individual has consumed over the course of a drinking session, the time that alcohol stays in the body usually depends on two main factors.

Alcohol leaving the body through perspiration, breath, urine or saliva.

The majority of alcohol being processed by our metabolism.

A breathalyzer works differently when detecting alcohol and while this test isn’t completely accurate when compared to BAC testing via blood for intoxication, understanding how long does alcohol stay in your system with a breathalyzer will help you to judge if you’re intoxicated. 20% of the alcohol that you consume is digested and expelled from the body. The vast majority of alcohol however is metabolized by the liver and it stays in the body for a longer amount of time. Alcohol can also be metabolized slower if there is already food in the stomach or if a person takes care to eat while they are drinking. If you need to drive after having just one drink, it’s important to consider taking time to let your metabolism handle some of the alcohol content in your body before departing. A breathalyzer can often confirm suspicion of intoxication and lead to further testing at a police station. Making sure that you don’t fall under suspicion especially if you have had alcohol will put you at a lower risk for potential charges as well as endangering the lives of others. Remember that if you feel inhibited by alcohol in any way, you should not drive. Having just one drink and driving could also put you at fault for an accident if you are involved in a crash with a sober driver.

  • How long does alcohol stay in your system detectable by breathalyzer also depends on a few different factors:
  • The age of the person can have an effect on the way they metabolize alcohol
  • The rate that a person has consumed alcohol over the evening
  • The fat content of the body
  • The amount of food that a person has had while drinking or before drinking
  • The types of food that is being consumed by an individual
  • Any medication that can react strongly with alcohol or hinder the metabolism.

The process of metabolizing alcohol is different for every person and the idea of how long does alcohol stay in your system with a breathalyzer, could change depending on the individual. One thing that does remain a constant pending a problem with metabolism or a condition affecting the liver, is the way that our liver metabolizes alcohol. In many cases our liver can process at least 1 ounce of an alcoholic drink per hour. The speed that the liver processes alcohol can change however if a person has had an extremely large meal before drinking. The food will be processed by the stomach first and even though the liver is working to reduce the alcohol in the system, the body will still retain the alcohol for a longer amount of time because it has had to process the food first.

Why we need alcohol and drug testing methods:

When a person drinks too much this can severely change the way that the body reacts in certain situations. It can also cause a number of health concerns. Alcohol is linked to over 60 different conditions especially when consumed heavily and regularly. Individuals who face addiction can often go through harmful withdrawal as well as a huge increase in the chances for health conditions like cancer, liver disease, heart attacks and more. Many workplaces even test for the use of alcohol in the workplace as it can affect performance, concentration and lead to mistakes/endangering other employees in the workplace. Ongoing alcohol consumption also endangers individuals on the roads. Nearly 1/3 of traffic related deaths in the United States are caused by impaired drivers. There are a few different alcohol and drug testing methods but the breathalyzer remains one of the fastest and most effective for confirming the suspicion of an impaired driver.

Law enforcement depends on this device regularly to keep people safe and learning how long does alcohol stay in your system with a breathalyzer can help to protect you and others when you are thinking of getting behind the wheel. Many people don’t realize that they may still be unfit to drive the morning after drinking or even hours after they have had their last drink.

Urine sample and blood sample testing simply takes too long but a breathalyzer is one of the easiest ways to tell ever person has alcohol in their body. Breathalyzers can easily be used in a portable format for law enforcement and the test takes just a few minutes whereas blood testing can often take hours to process by a lab.

How does a breathalyzer detect alcohol in the body?

Breathalyzers have long been used by law enforcement as an effective method for testing alcohol content in the system. It’s important to remember that most breathalyzers have an error rate to them. In many cases done on breathalyzer rates vs blood tests, the blood-alcohol BrAC or breath test recorded a reading of alcohol in the body with a 15% difference on BAC with a blood test. In most cases law enforcement will allow various of breath testing of plus or -.01 for a reading.

A breathalyzer basically works by measuring the concentration of alcohol within the air that is exhaled into the device by an individual. The semi conductor oxide sensors inside and the semi-fuel sensors will provide a measuring of the blood alcohol content that is reasonably accurate for such a fast test.

The fuel cell within a breathalyzer will actually measure alcohol levels through a chemical reaction made when alcohol moves through the air. There are other types of breathalyzers that also utilize infrared to detect alcohol in light particles within the breath. Breathalyzers that have the semi conductor oxide sensors remain one of the best breathalyzers for obtaining an accurate reading.

Accurate readings with breathalyzers can often be skewed or affected by some of the following factors:

The temperature of the body: if body temperature is too high or too low as a result of the outdoor temperature, this can often change the reading of the breathalyzer.

A previous medical condition: diabetes can affect a strong levels that can generate false readings on a breath test. In some cases a high-fat, high-protein or low-carb diet can also change the results of a breathalyzer test. Individuals that suffer from GERD can also result in a false reading from the undigested alcohol in the stomach that can affect test results more so.

Residual alcohol in the mouth: alcohol can actually remain in saliva and inside a person’s mouth for 15 to 20 min. before it completely dissipates. If a person is tested with a breathalyzer 15 to 20 min. after having their last alcoholic drink, this can affect results.

Blood in the mouth: if a person’s gums or lips are bleeding this can sometimes change the nature of a reading as blood particles will be detected in the breathalyzer.

Using the proper testing methods with a breathalyzer:

Breathalyzers are available for sale to anyone and if you are interested in understanding your alcohol intake with the help of a breathalyzer you can perform testing on yourself or keeper breathalyzer at home to prevent individuals from driving drunk.

Owning a breathalyzer can help you learn how long does alcohol stay in your system with a breathalyzer. It’s important to remember that you should consider purchasing a breathalyzer that is determined to be quite accurate as some of the less expensive breathalyzers can often be inaccurate with their readings.

The average breathalyzer has some of these top components:

Breathalyzers contained a system that can collect a sample of breath from a person.

Two main glass vials that contain mixtures for a chemical reaction activated by the sample

A series of two photocells which have a direct connection to a meter that change color when the reaction occurs.

How a breathalyzer works:

When measuring alcohol content in the breath the user of the breathalyzer will exhale for some time into the breathalyzer and ensure that the exhalation sample moves over a sulfuric acid mixture and a potassium dichromate mixture. Sulfuric acid mixture will remove alcohol from the air directly and the alcohol will then react with the second mixture to produce a chromium sulfate potassium sulfate acetic in the water. Seeing this change will then be detected by the meter and the second mixture will turn a red to orange color based off of the level of alcohol that was taken out of the air. The meter will then compare the color with the baseline clear color of the first vial and produce a small electric current from the reaction. This change will be measured in a BrAC reading. Infrared breathalyzers also include reading on the amount of alcohol extracted from breath in the first step by measuring the liquid that passes through an infrared sensor.

The simple answer of how long does alcohol stay in your system with a breathalyzer?

The standard rule for most people on alcohol consumption that is detectable by a breathalyzer is keeping it safe. A breathalyzer will likely detect alcohol between 12 and 24 hours after you have had a drink in some degree. In order to effectively remain under the legal limit for your area with driving and to not risk your health with the negative effects of alcohol, drinking heavily past two drinks should be avoided. Rapidly consuming two drinks and getting into a car could also potentially make you blow over on a breathalyzer test but sticking to two drinks over 3 to 4 hours with food and making sure to slowly enjoy the alcoholic drinks should lead to a safe breathalyzer reading. Keep in mind that breathalyzer rates can be skewed if you have certain types of medical conditions, medication or a specific diet.




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