How Long Does Being Drunk Last? Understanding The Duration And Effects Of Alcohol Intoxication

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Have you ever had a night out with friends and woke up the next morning wondering, how long does being drunk last? I certainly have. I remember a time when I went out with my friends and had a few too many drinks, only to regret it the next morning when I had to wake up early for work. It got me thinking about the effects of alcohol on the body and how long they last.

Being drunk not only affects your physical and mental state but can also have legal and social consequences. In this article, we will explore how long does being drunk last, what does being drunk feel like, how alcohol is metabolized in the body, and factors that influence how long does drunk last. So, let’s dive in how long are you drunk for?

Must read: How many beers to get drunk?

Table of Contents

How long does being drunk last?

How long does drunk last can vary depending on various factors, such as the amount and type of alcohol consumed, individual body weight and metabolism, and alcohol tolerance. Generally, the effects of how long does being drunk last for about 6 hours on average to wear off and it takes roughly 25 hours for the body to fully metabolize the alcohol.

Here is a rough timeline of how long does being drunk last:

  1. Buzzed: The effects of alcohol can begin to be felt within minutes of consumption, with a mild feeling of euphoria and relaxation that can last for up to an hour or so.
  2. Tipsy: As more alcohol is consumed, the effects become more pronounced, leading to impaired coordination, judgment, and decision-making skills. The peak effects of alcohol are typically reached within 30 to 90 minutes of consumption and can last for several hours.
  3. Drunk: As the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels continue to rise, the effects become more severe, leading to slurred speech, impaired vision, and difficulty walking or standing. The effects of being drunk can last for several hours, typically 4-6 hours or longer, depending on individual factors.
  4. Hangover: The day after drinking, many people experience a hangover, which can include symptoms such as headache, nausea, fatigue, and sensitivity to light and sound. So, how long does a hangover last? Hangover symptoms can last for full day or even longer after alcohol consumption.
how long to get sober

What does being drunk feel like?

Being drunk is a state of intoxication caused by the consumption of alcohol. It can affect an individual’s physical and mental state, leading to various symptoms. What does being drunk feel like can vary from person to person, there are some common physical and behavioral symptoms of being drunk.

Physical symptoms of being drunk

  1. Impaired coordination and balance: Alcohol can impair the cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for coordinating movements and balance, leading to stumbling, swaying, or falling.
  2. Slurred speech: Alcohol affects the vocal cords and tongue, leading to slurred or unclear speech.
  3. Blurred vision: Alcohol can affect the eye muscles and cause blurred or double vision.
  4. Flushed skin and dilated pupils: Alcohol can cause blood vessels to expand, leading to flushed skin and dilated pupils.
  5. Nausea and vomiting: Alcohol irritates the stomach lining, leading to nausea and vomiting.
  6. Headache and dizziness: Alcohol can cause dehydration, leading to headache and dizziness.
  7. Slow reflexes: Alcohol can slow down the central nervous system, including reflexes, making it difficult to respond quickly to stimuli.

Behavioral symptoms of being drunk

  1. Impaired judgment: Alcohol can impair judgment, leading to poor decision-making and risky behavior.
  2. Emotional instability: Alcohol can affect the brain’s emotional center, leading to exaggerated emotions, mood swings, and aggressive behavior.
  3. Decreased inhibitions: Alcohol can lower inhibitions, leading to behaviors such as flirting, inappropriate language or actions, and poor impulse control.
  4. Memory impairment: Alcohol can impair the brain’s ability to form new memories, leading to blackouts or gaps in memory.
  5. Altered perceptions of reality: Alcohol can affect the brain’s ability to process sensory information, leading to distorted perceptions of reality.
  6. Increased talkativeness: Alcohol can make people more talkative, leading to excessive or inappropriate conversations.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) characterizes critical symptoms of an alcohol overdose:

  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing
  • Dulled responses
  • Slow heart rate
  • Clammy skin
  • Low body temperature
  • Inability to wake up
how long does a hangover last

How long does it take for alcohol to kick in?

It typically takes around 15 to 45 minutes for alcohol to start affecting a person after they begin drinking. However, the exact timing can depend on several factors, including the individual’s weight, gender, age, metabolism, and how much food they’ve consumed.

Different kinds of drunk

Here are seven different types of drunk:

  1. The happy drunk: This person becomes more social and outgoing when they drink, feeling a sense of euphoria and happiness.
  2. The angry drunk: This person becomes aggressive and confrontational when they drink, often picking fights and causing conflict with others.
  3. The affectionate drunk: This person becomes more affectionate and loving when they drink, expressing their emotions more openly and physically.
  4. The sloppy drunk: This person loses control of their movements and speech when they drink, often stumbling, slurring their words, and making a mess.
  5. The reckless drunk: This person becomes more impulsive and daring when they drink, engaging in risky behavior and making poor decisions.
  6. The secret drunk: This person drinks alone and hides their drinking from others, often feeling ashamed or embarrassed about their behavior.
  7. The blackout drunk: This person drinks to the point of losing consciousness and memory of their actions, often waking up with no recollection of what happened while they were drunk.

It’s important to remember that drinking alcohol can have different effects on different people, and it’s essential to drink responsibly and avoid excessive drinking.

How does alcohol make you drunk?

Here are some ways alcohol can make you feel drunk:

Mental and physical relaxation

Alcohol can cause a sense of relaxation in both the mind and body, leading to feelings of calm and decreased stress. This is due to the fact that alcohol acts as a depressant, slowing down the activity of the central nervous system.

Lowered inhibitions

Alcohol can lower inhibitions, making a person more likely to engage in risky or impulsive behaviors that they might not otherwise consider. This is because alcohol can impair the functioning of the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for decision-making and self-control.

Heightened emotions

Alcohol can cause heightened emotions, leading to a range of emotional responses such as increased confidence, aggression, or sadness. This is due to the fact that alcohol can affect the limbic system, which is responsible for regulating emotions.

Feelings of euphoria and joy

Alcohol can cause feelings of euphoria and joy, which are due to the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasure and reward, and alcohol can increase its release in the brain.

Impaired judgment

Alcohol can impair judgment and lead to poor decision-making. This is because alcohol can interfere with the brain’s ability to process information and make logical decisions.

Slowed reaction time

Alcohol can slow down reaction times, making it more difficult to coordinate movements and respond to stimuli. This is due to the fact that alcohol affects the cerebellum, which is responsible for motor coordination.

Overall, alcohol can affect the brain and body in a number of ways, leading to the behaviors and feelings associated with drunkenness.

Factors that affect how long does being drunk last

Various factors can affect how long does being drunk last. Here are some factors that can impact the duration of being drunk:


Women tend to have a lower tolerance for alcohol than men due to their smaller size and lower levels of the enzyme that breaks down alcohol in the stomach and liver.

Body weight

The amount of alcohol someone can drink before becoming intoxicated depends on their body weight. The more a person weighs, the more alcohol they can consume before feeling the effects.


As people age, their metabolism slows down, leading to a slower rate of alcohol metabolism and a longer duration of being drunk.

Food consumption

Eating food before or while drinking alcohol can slow down the rate of alcohol absorption, reducing the severity and duration of the effects.

Rate of alcohol consumption

Drinking alcohol quickly or in large amounts can lead to a more rapid onset of intoxication and a longer duration of being drunk.

Type of alcohol beverages

Different types of alcoholic beverages have different alcohol content or strength of liquor, with beer typically having a lower alcohol content than wine or spirits. Drinking beverages with a higher alcohol content can lead to a more rapid onset of intoxication and affect how long does drunk last.

Read also: What does proof mean in alcohol?

Liver disease or damage

The liver is responsible for metabolizing alcohol, and if it is damaged or not functioning correctly, it can take longer for the body to process the alcohol, leading to a longer duration of being drunk.


Certain medications can interact with alcohol, leading to a more prolonged and severe effect, increasing the duration of being drunk.

Metabolic rate

Some people have a faster metabolic rate, which means that they can process alcohol more quickly and may not feel the effects for as long as others.

The speed at which alcohol is consumed

Drinking alcohol slowly can reduce the duration of being drunk, while drinking alcohol quickly can lead to a more rapid onset of intoxication and a longer duration of being drunk.

how to get sober fast

Differences between men and women in terms of how long does being drunk last

Body weightGenerally higher, leading to a larger blood volume and more efficient liver function, which can process alcohol more quicklyGenerally lower, leading to a smaller blood volume and less efficient liver function, which can process alcohol more slowly
Enzyme levelsHave higher levels of the enzyme that breaks down alcohol in the stomach and liverHave lower levels of the enzyme that breaks down alcohol in the stomach and liver
Alcohol toleranceGenerally have a higher tolerance for alcohol due to larger size and higher levels of enzymesGenerally have a lower tolerance for alcohol due to smaller size and lower levels of enzymes
IntoxicationMay feel the effects of alcohol more slowly, but may also be able to tolerate a higher level of intoxicationMay feel the effects of alcohol more quickly and intensely, with a lower level of tolerance for intoxication
Duration of being drunkGenerally shorter due to faster alcohol metabolism and eliminationGenerally longer due to slower alcohol metabolism and elimination

Blood alcohol content (BAC)

Blood alcohol content (BAC) is a measure of the amount of alcohol present in a person’s bloodstream. It is expressed as a percentage by volume, with 0.08% being the legal limit for driving in most US states. BAC is affected by a variety of factors, including the amount and rate of alcohol consumption, body weight, gender, age, and metabolism.

See more: How many beers is .08?

BAC levels of drunk and their effects on the body

BAC LevelSymptoms and Effects
0.02-0.03%Slight euphoria and reduced inhibitions
0.04-0.06%Increased relaxation and impaired coordination
0.07-0.09%Slurred speech and impaired judgment
0.10-0.12%Significant impairment of coordination and judgment
0.13-0.15%Gross motor impairment and difficulty standing or walking
0.16-0.19%Severe motor impairment and blackouts
0.20%+Possible loss of consciousness and life-threatening respiratory depression

Effects of alcohol intoxication on your body

Alcohol intoxication can have a wide range of effects on the body, ranging from mild to severe, depending on the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption. Here are some of the potential effects of alcohol intoxication on the body:

  1. Brain and nervous system: Alcohol can affect the brain and nervous system, leading to symptoms such as impaired judgment, decreased coordination, slurred speech, slowed reaction time, memory loss, and confusion. In severe cases, alcohol intoxication can lead to seizures, coma, and even death.
  2. Digestive system: Alcohol can irritate the digestive system, leading to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Long-term alcohol abuse can also lead to liver disease, pancreatitis, and other digestive disorders.
  3. Cardiovascular system: Alcohol can increase blood pressure, heart rate, and the risk of heart disease and stroke. Long-term alcohol abuse can also lead to heart muscle damage and arrhythmias.
  4. Immune system: Alcohol can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections and illnesses.
  5. Endocrine system: Alcohol can disrupt hormone production and lead to a range of hormonal imbalances, such as decreased testosterone levels in men and irregular menstrual cycles in women.
  6. Reproductive system: Alcohol can decrease fertility in both men and women, and long-term alcohol abuse can lead to impotence and other sexual problems.
  7. Muscular and skeletal systems: Alcohol can lead to muscle weakness, tremors, and muscle spasms. Long-term alcohol abuse can also lead to bone loss and an increased risk of fractures.

Therefore, alcohol intoxication can have a wide range of effects on the body, both in the short and long term. It’s essential to drink responsibly and avoid excessive alcohol consumption to minimize the risks of alcohol-related health problems and legal consequences.

what does being drunk feel like

How to get sober fast?

Here are some tips on how to sober up fast:

  1. Stop drinking: The first step for how to get sober fast is to stop drinking alcohol.
  2. Drink water: Does water sober you up? Yes, definitely. Drinking water can help to rehydrate your body and reduce symptoms such as headaches and dry mouth.
  3. Eat food: Eating foods that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates can help to stabilize your blood sugar levels and provide your body with essential nutrients. What should you eat when drunk? You can eat foods that have protein and healthy fats, such as lean meats, fish, egg, nuts, seeds, and avocado.
  4. Get some rest: Resting and getting enough sleep can help your body to recover from the effects of alcohol.
  5. Take a shower: Taking a shower can help to refresh your senses and wake you up, helping you feel more alert and sober.
  6. Take a walk: Going for a walk or doing some light exercise can help to stimulate your body and promote the elimination of alcohol from your system.
  7. Drink coffee: Drinking coffee can help to increase alertness and reduce the effects of alcohol on the brain.

How long to get sober?

On average, the alcohol half-life is around 4-5 hours, meaning it takes the body 4-5 hours to remove half of the alcohol from the bloodstream. For example, if a person had a BAC of 0.10% at midnight, their BAC would be 0.05% by 4 or 5 a.m.

To completely metabolize the alcohol in your body, it takes about five half-life, which means it takes approximately 25 hours to completely eliminate the alcohol from your system. That is the answer for “How long does it take to sober up?”.

It’s essential to note that the alcohol half-life is only an estimate, and it can vary depending on individual factors. For instance, women may take longer to eliminate alcohol from their bodies because they have less water in their bodies and less of the enzyme that breaks down alcohol. Additionally, individuals with liver disease or damage may take longer to metabolize alcohol, leading to a longer alcohol half-life.

Quick tips for how to sober up from alcohol in 30 minutes

Drink water: Drinking water can help rehydrate your body and prevent dehydration, which can worsen the effects of alcohol. It can also help flush alcohol out of your system more quickly.

See also: How long does it take to rehydrate?

Eat something: Eating food can help slow down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream, which can help reduce its effects. Focus on eating foods that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates.

Get some fresh air: Taking a walk outside or spending time in the fresh air can help you feel more awake and alert. It can also help clear your head and reduce feelings of nausea.

Take a cold shower: Taking a cold shower or splashing cold water on your face can help you feel more awake and alert. It can also help reduce feelings of nausea and dizziness.

Wait it out: The most effective way to sober up is to wait it out. As time passes, your body will metabolize and eliminate the alcohol naturally.

How to remove alcohol effect immediately?

How to get sober in 5 minutes for a hangover:

  • Coffee
  • Cold showers
  • Eating and drinking
  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Carbon or charcoal capsules

For drinking too much:

  • Counting drinks
  • Slowing down
  • Hydrating
  • Snacking
  • Not mixing drinks

Does throwing up help sober you up?

Throwing up may help to reduce the amount of alcohol in your system temporarily, but it will not sober you up completely. When you vomit, some of the alcohol in your stomach is expelled from your body, but the alcohol that has already been absorbed into your bloodstream will still be present. The liver is responsible for metabolizing and eliminating alcohol from the body, and this process takes time.

Is it okay to let a drunk person sleep?

Yes, it is generally safe to let a drunk person sleep, but it’s important to monitor them for signs of alcohol poisoning or other health complications. If a person is extremely intoxicated, it’s important to place them in the recovery position to prevent choking or aspiration of vomit. It’s also necessary to ensure that the person is breathing normally and to seek medical attention if there are any concerns about their health.

symptoms of being drunk

Can I use hangover IV therapy to feel better?

Hangover IV therapy is a treatment that involves the administration of intravenous fluids and nutrients to help alleviate the symptoms of a hangover. Here’s how it works:

The treatment involves the use of an intravenous (IV) line to deliver a mixture of fluids, electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals directly into the bloodstream. This allows the body to quickly absorb the nutrients it needs to recover from the effects of alcohol intoxication and dehydration.

The fluids used in hangover IV therapy typically include a saline solution, which helps to rehydrate the body and restore electrolyte balance. Other nutrients, such as B vitamins and magnesium, may also be included to help alleviate symptoms such as nausea, headaches, and fatigue.

Hangover IV therapy is generally considered safe, but there are some potential side effects to be aware of. These can include:

  1. Infection: There is a small risk of infection at the site where the IV line is inserted.
  2. Allergic reactions: Some people may have an allergic reaction to the fluids or nutrients used in the treatment.
  3. Electrolyte imbalances: Overuse of IV fluids can lead to electrolyte imbalances, which can cause symptoms such as muscle cramps, weakness, and confusion.
  4. Blood clots: In rare cases, IV therapy can lead to the formation of blood clots in the veins.

Note: Hangover IV therapy is not a substitute for responsible drinking and should not be used as a way to justify excessive alcohol consumption.

Read more: How to get rid of the spins?

Moderating your drinking

Drinking alcohol can be a fun and enjoyable social activity, but you should drink responsibly and in moderation to minimize the risks of alcohol-related health problems. Here are some tips for moderate drinking and how to drink responsibly:

Tips for moderate drinking

  1. Know your limits: Be aware of how much alcohol you can handle and don’t try to keep up with others who may be drinking more than you can handle.
  2. Pace yourself: Drink slowly and alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks, such as water or juice.
  3. Eat food: Eating food can help to slow down the absorption of alcohol in your system and prevent rapid intoxication.
  4. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated and avoid the effects of dehydration.
  5. Avoid binge drinking: Binge drinking, which is defined as consuming five or more drinks in a short period, can increase the risks of alcohol-related health problems and legal consequences.
  6. Don’t drink and drive: Never drink and drive or operate heavy machinery after drinking alcohol. Designate a driver, use public transportation, or call a taxi or ride-sharing service instead. Read how long after drinking can you drive.
  7. Know the signs of alcohol overdose: Be aware of the signs of alcohol overdose, such as confusion, vomiting, seizures, and unconsciousness. Seek medical attention immediately if you or someone you know experiences these symptoms.

How to drink responsibly?

  1. Set limits: Set a limit on the number of drinks you’ll have before you start drinking and stick to it.
  2. Plan ahead: If you’re going to be drinking, plan ahead and make arrangements for transportation and a safe place to stay.
  3. Be mindful of your surroundings: Be mindful of your surroundings and avoid situations that may lead to excessive drinking or risky behavior.
  4. Know when to stop: If you feel yourself becoming too intoxicated, stop drinking and switch to non-alcoholic beverages.
  5. Seek help if needed: If you’re having difficulty moderating your drinking or if you’re concerned about your alcohol consumption, seek help from a healthcare provider or a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous.


Can I drive when drunk?

No, it is illegal and dangerous to drive while under the influence of alcohol. Even if you feel okay to drive, alcohol can impair your judgment, reaction time, and coordination, increasing the risks of accidents and injuries.

Is it safe to mix alcohol with medication?

No, mixing alcohol with medication can be dangerous and can lead to adverse reactions, including increased drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired coordination. Some medications can also interact with alcohol, reducing their effectiveness or causing harmful side effects.

Can I still breastfeed if I drank alcohol?

It’s generally safe to breastfeed after drinking alcohol, but it’s important to wait until the alcohol has been eliminated from your system. It’s recommended to wait at least 2-3 hours per drink before breastfeeding. Alternatively, you can pump and discard breast milk to remove any alcohol from your milk.

Why do I get drunk so fast?

There are several factors that can affect how quickly you get drunk, including your gender, body weight, and metabolism. If you’re feeling the effects of alcohol more quickly than usual, it’s important to take steps to moderate your drinking and stay hydrated.

See more: How many shots to get drunk?

Should you drink alcohol when sick?

No, it’s generally not recommended to drink alcohol when you’re sick. Alcohol can dehydrate your body and interfere with the immune system, which can make it harder for your body to fight off infections and illnesses.

Can you still be drunk after 24 hours?

It’s unlikely to still be drunk after 24 hours, as the body typically metabolizes alcohol at a rate of about one standard drink per hour. However, the effects of alcohol can last beyond the time it takes for your body to metabolize the alcohol, so you may still experience hangover symptoms or impaired judgment even if you’re not still drunk.

Does a drunk person know what they’re doing?

It depends on the level of intoxication. Mild to moderate intoxication may cause impairment of judgment and decision-making, but a person can still generally understand what they’re doing. However, heavy intoxication can lead to loss of consciousness and memory loss, making it difficult for a person to know what they’re doing.

Do cold showers help drunkenness?

Cold showers may help alleviate symptoms of being drunk such as dizziness, nausea, and sweating, but they won’t sober a person up. The only thing that can sober a person up is time, as the liver processes and eliminates the alcohol from the body.

Which organ is most harmful to drinking alcohol?

The liver is the organ most affected by drinking alcohol, as it is responsible for processing and eliminating the alcohol from the body. Heavy and chronic alcohol consumption can cause liver damage and lead to conditions such as fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.

Why do I say crazy stuff when I’m drunk?

Alcohol can impair a person’s judgment and lower inhibitions, leading to reduced self-control and an increased tendency to say or do things they might not when sober. Additionally, alcohol can affect the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to changes in mood and emotional regulation that may contribute to saying or doing things that are out of character.

Related: How much wine to get drunk?


In general, understanding how long does being drunk last is an important aspect of responsible drinking. While the effects of alcohol intoxication can vary depending on a variety of factors such as gender, body weight, and alcohol tolerance, it’s essential to remember that the effects of alcohol can last beyond the time it takes for your body to metabolize the alcohol. It’s important to give your body time to recover after drinking and to take steps to prevent excessive alcohol consumption in the first place. Remember, responsible drinking is not just about how long does being drunk last, but also about making informed choices and taking care of yourself and those around you.