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How long does it take for alcohol to move through your system?

If you love to drink, one of your major questions could be when your body begins to recognize alcohol in your system. For example, if you drink a glass of wine, will your body register that wine in five minutes, ten minutes or longer? How long do you have to wait to get a true feel for how intoxicated you've become?

According to BACTrack, it takes only 15 minutes for alcohol to begin to register in your system. Within an hour, it's normal for a single drink of alcohol to get metabolized and leave your system. For instance, a 12-ounce beer, 1.5-ounce shot or five-ounce glass of wine will all take approximately the same amount of time to exit your body.

Not everyone is the same, so if you intend to drink often, it's a good idea to look into your options for testing your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Many people choose to carry battery-operated Breathalyzers, since they're affordable and easy to use.

Using a Breathalyzer before you get into a vehicle helps you understand exactly how much alcohol is in your system. To be extra safe, consider testing your breath and then waiting 15 to 20 minutes to do so again. If the BAC goes up, you know alcohol is still entering your bloodstream, and you should wait before you drive. When your BAC starts going down, then it's a better indicator that you're beginning to sober up.

If you're stopped after testing your own BAC and don't believe the officer's reading was correct, you may have a good defense. Your attorney can help you present the facts and fight for your defense against the charges.

Source: BAC Track, "How Many Drinks Does It Take to Reach 0.08% BAC?," accessed Jan. 31, 2018

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