On average, it takes about 1 hour for your body to break down 1 unit of alcohol. However, this can vary, depending on:
It can also take longer if your liver isn't working normally.
1 unit of alcohol is equivalent to 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. There are roughly:
If you drink a large (250ml) glass of wine, your body takes about 3 hours to break down the alcohol.
If you drink 1 pint of beer, your body takes about 2 hours to break it down, 1 pint of strong lager is equivalent to 3 units, so this will take longer.
However, this time can vary, depending on the factors mentioned above.
If you have a few drinks during a night out, it can take many hours for the alcohol to leave your body. The alcohol could still be in your blood the next day.
This means that if you drive the day after an evening of drinking, you could be over the legal alcohol limit.
To reduce the risk of harming your health if you drink most weeks:
Read more about the risks of drinking too much.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.