How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your Urine?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on April 30, 2021

Urine screenings can detect blood alcohol levels for anywhere from 10 hours to four days. How long alcohol stays in urine can depend on a variety of factors, including how much you’ve had to drink, history of alcohol abuse, and liver function.

How Long Can Alcohol Be Detected In Your Urine?

The amount of time alcohol stays in urine will depend on how fast it’s absorbed and metabolized in the body. This can depend on a variety of personal, biological, and genetic factors.

Detecting Alcohol In Urine

After drinking, alcohol will generally remain in urine for 10 to 12 hours on average. If you take a drug test capable of screening for alcohol metabolites, this can detect alcohol use for up to 48 hours.

What Factors Can Affect Alcohol Detection In Urine?

Not all bodies absorb or metabolize alcohol at the same rate. Using multiple drugs at once, being a heavy drinker, or being of older age can affect how long alcohol will stay in the body.

Primary factors that can affect how long alcohol stays in urine:

  • amount of alcohol consumed
  • how often you drink
  • alcohol dependence
  • liver and kidney function
  • overall health
  • metabolic rate

Eating food before or while you’re drinking can affect alcohol absorption. This is also true for drinking water.

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Alcohol detox programs offer the safest and most effective way to get alcohol out of your system if you’re unable to stop drinking by yourself.

Alcohol detox programs can offer:

  • medicine for withdrawal symptoms
  • medical supervision
  • fluids to help you stay hydrated
  • care coordination for further treatment

After detox, treatment in a full alcohol rehab program may be recommended.

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This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on April 30, 2021
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