How Fast Does Alcohol Work?

How Fast Does Alcohol Work
Transporting – Once alcohol is in your bloodstream, it is carried to all organs of your body. In the majority of healthy people, blood circulates through the body in 90 seconds, thereby allowing alcohol to affect your brain and all other organs in a short amount of time.

  • The full effects of a drink are felt within 15 to 45 minutes depending on the speed of absorption.
  • Alcohol enters all tissues of the body except bone and fat.
  • In an adult male, alcohol can penetrate approximately 68% of body tissues.
  • Body composition is important, because if the percentage of adipose tissue is high, the alcohol can only be distributed throughout the remaining lean tissue – resulting in a higher concentration for those areas.

The effects of alcohol on the body will vary according to the individual: their sex, body composition, the amount of alcohol consumed, the presence of food, and the ability of the liver to produce the alcohol dehydrogenase enzymes.

How fast will I be sober?

University Health Service A night of heavy partying follows you into the next day. Contrary to popular belief, only time will sober you up. The rate that alcohol leaves the body is constant, regardless of gender, body type or size. It leaves at a rate of,015% per hour (.25-.30 ounce of ethanol, which comes out to about 1/2 drink per hour).

Time Activity Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
2 AM Leave the bar, get food, stumble home BAC,200
3 AM Drunk-dial friends BAC,185
4 AM Crash in a chair BAC,170
5 AM Awake with neck cramp, move to bed BAC,155
6 AM Restless sleep BAC,140
7 AM Wake up, search for water, go back to bed BAC,125
8 AM Restless sleep BAC,110
9 AM Hit snooze repeatedly, pounding headache BAC,095
10 AM Realize you accidentally shut off alarm, jump out of bed, pull on sweats, grab gum, then hustle to class (DUI possible if you drive) BAC,080
11 AM Contemplate whether food is a good idea – decide it’s not – go home and sleep like the dead BAC,065
Noon Alarm wakes you – contemplate skipping next class BAC,050
1 PM In class, irritable BAC,035
2 PM Head clearing, skip the gym and go home BAC,020
3 PM Feeling better, decide to eat BAC,005
4 PM Sober at last BAC,000
5 PM Make plans for the evening that don’t involve drinking

Want your day-after to be great? Check out, Adapted from Choices Interactive Journal from The Change Companies. : University Health Service

What does a tipsy person look like?

Download Article Download Article How can you tell if someone is tipsy, drunk, intoxicated, or over-served? Can you judge by the fact that their eyes are red, their cheeks are rosy, or if their speech is slurred? There are many signs and symptoms of intoxication that can be easy enough to recognize with a little practice and research.

  1. 1 Look for glassy or bloodshot eyes. A person’s eyes can tell you a lot about them and their mental state in a particular moment. If their eyes are glassy and bloodshot, it could be a sign that they’ve been drinking too much. Additionally, if a person has droopy eyes and is clearly having trouble keeping their eyes open, this could also be a sign of intoxication.
    • Note: Bloodshot eyes could also be a sign of allergies or another medical condition. So make sure you ask about allergies before you interpret this symptom as a definitive sign of intoxication.
  2. 2 Notice how the person smells. While intoxication can mean being under the influence of several different substances, the smell of the user can be a big giveaway for many people. Both alcohol and marijuana have very strong odours that linger with the user long after the intoxicating substance has been consumed.
    • As a parent looking for signs of intoxication in their child, this is one of the most effective tell-tale signs.


  3. 3 Watch for impaired motor function. Intoxicated people can’t perform normal tasks as easily as they can when they are sober. This includes things like walking a straight line, lighting a cigarette properly, spilling drinks, or fumbling with other objects.
    • Keep in mind that impaired motor function can be a side effect of many other conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease or someone who has suffered a stroke.
  4. 4 Estimate the person’s size. Although alcohol affects everyone similarly, the speed at which it does so will be different based upon their physical characteristics. Size, sex, rate of consumption, the strength of each drink, the amount of food and the additional use of drugs all are to be considered when determining how quickly alcohol may be affecting someone.
    • For example, a person who weighs 150 lbs. will feel the effects of the alcohol much more quickly than someone who weighs 250 lbs., even if they drink the exact same amount of alcohol. This is because the larger person can tolerate more alcohol since their body takes longer to process it.
  5. Advertisement

  1. 1 Watch for a person’s inhibitions to become lowered. If someone is becoming more talkative and beginning to lose some control of knowing how far he can go in a social setting, they are showing the first signs of intoxication. Louder behaviour than usual — and even mood swings — are also possible warning signs.
    • For example, loud outbursts or inappropriate comments could be signs of intoxication.
    • An intoxicated person may spend their money more freely than they usually would. With lowered inhibitions, people are more likely to focus on the good feeling that they get from drinking, rather than thinking about how they need to be responsible with their money. They might also buy drinks for strangers or acquaintances.
    • Additionally, many people like to smoke cigarettes while they are drinking. Smokers usually smoke more when they are drinking, but many non-smokers will light up the occasional cigarette when they’ve been drinking. This is another sign of intoxication.
  2. 2 Listen to the volume of the person’s voice. There are many signs of intoxication that you can spot just by paying attention to how someone speaks. If a person is speaking too loudly or too softly, then they are showing signs of intoxication.
  3. 3 Notice if the person slurs their speech. Slurred speech is almost always a sure sign of intoxication. If you notice a person (your child, your customer, or anyone really) is slurring their words together, especially to the point where it is difficult to interpret exactly what they are saying, it is may be a sign of intoxication.
    • Again, slurred speech can be a side effect of another condition or even a sign that someone is having a stroke. Don’t automatically assume a person is drunk because they’re slurring their words.
  4. 4 Pay attention to what the person says. If a person is being combative with her words, speaking more slowly than usual, or repeating themselves a lot, these could be signs of intoxication. Watch for these verbal cues to determine if someone has been drinking too much.
  5. 5 Observe how the person interacts with others. As they become increasingly intoxicated, a person will progress through the stages of poor judgment. This is inappropriate behaviour that they normally would not engage in. Foul language, off-colour jokes, and overly flirtatious behaviour are signs of poor judgment, especially if these things are out of character for this person.
    • For example, inappropriate sexual advances, mean comments, and unusually dirty jokes can all be signs of intoxication.
  6. 6 Interpret the person’s mood. People who are intoxicated often have wide mood swings —being happy and laughing one second, then crying and belligerent a few minutes later. If their mood seems more exaggerated than normal (on either end of the spectrum), they might be intoxicated.
    • For example, if someone is drinking and they seem to be in a good mood, but suddenly starts crying, this could be a sign of intoxication.
  7. 7 Look for clues in other modes of communication. Sometimes it’s important to be able to determine if someone is intoxicated even if you are not in the same room with them.
    • Phone calls. An intoxicated person might call an old lover or call someone repeatedly (also known as ‘‘drunk dialing”). Their inhibitions are lowered, so calling over and over might not seem disruptive or rude to them and so they may feel less accountable for their actions.
    • Text messages. Signs of intoxication to look for in text messages include drastic misspellings, overly emotional pronouncements, or receiving a text (or a series of texts) at an unusually late hour.
  8. 8 Consider alcohol tolerance. Remember that it’s possible for people to develop a tolerance for alcohol, but that doesn’t mean that they are not legally intoxicated. It just means that visual recognition is more difficult. For some people with exceptional tolerance, drink counting may be the only way to assess intoxication but this is not without problems.
    • If you are a bartender trying to determine whether you should keep serving someone alcohol or not, try to count the number of drinks the person has had. You can even ask one of their friends how much she has had to drink or how drunk the friend thinks the person is.
  9. Advertisement

  1. 1 Try to get the person to stop drinking. Once people drinking alcohol begin to show signs of physical impairment, first get them to stop drinking any more alcohol. Some beginning signs of physical impairment are slurred speech, slow or clumsy movements, swaying, dropping objects (e.g., goods, money, keys) or forgetting thoughts in mid-sentence.
    • To get someone to stop drinking, try talking to them calmly as a friend. Tell them that you think they may have had too much to drink and that you are worried, so it would make you feel better if they would quit drinking for the night. Appeal to their sense of friendship if you have to — that they are doing you a favour by not drinking anymore.
    • If they refuse to quit drinking, consider taking more drastic measures. If you are in a bar, tell the bartender that you think the intoxicated person has been drinking too much and ask the bartender to quit serving them alcohol. If you are in a private space like a house, try to hide all the remaining alcohol. The drunk person will not be as observant as usual because of their dulled senses, so it should be relatively easy for you to hide the alcohol without them noticing.
  2. 2 Keep them company. If a person shows a loss of motor control, function or poor coordination, they must not be left alone as they could become a danger to themselves or others. Stumbling or swaying, having difficulty with depth perception, and dropping things repeatedly or having difficulty picking them up are signs that the person has progressed to this level.
  3. 3 Get the person home. If you notice someone is very intoxicated and they are in a public place like a bar or restaurant, try to help them get home so he can go to bed and sleep it off. You can offer the person a ride yourself, call a cab for them, offer to call a friend, or call a drunk ride service if one is available in your area.
  4. 4 Prevent the person from driving. Drinking and driving is extremely dangerous — to the drunk driver themselves and to everyone who crosses paths with them. Sometimes people make poor decisions when they have had too much to drink, or aren’t able to correctly gauge their own level of drunkenness, so they choose to drive when they shouldn’t. To prevent someone from driving drunk you can try helping them get home another way, by notifying the bartender or the police, or even by stealing their car keys.
  5. 5 Make sure the person is safe. People can be a danger to themselves when they are intoxicated. This is especially true if the intoxicated person is well past the point of minor drunkenness. There are many dangers to be considered — for example, people have been known to die from choking on their own vomit while they were intoxicated.
    • If you see a person who is heavily intoxicated but this seems to be out of character for them, or notice they only had a single drink, it is possible that they have been roofied. This means that someone has slipped a drug in their drink (usually the sedative Rohypnol) that will cause them to lose some muscle control and, in effect, be unable to resist if he is assaulted.
  6. 6 Seek medical attention if you think the person has alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning is a very serious condition that results from drinking more alcohol than your body can handle. In a worst case scenario, this can result in death. If you think someone you know has alcohol poisoning, seek emergency medical attention immediately. These are some symptoms of alcohol poisoning:
    • Vomiting
    • Seizures
    • Confusion
    • Slowed breathing
    • Passing out
    • Pale skin
  7. 7 Keep other causes in mind. There are a number of different medical conditions which may cause a person to appear drunk. For instance, someone suffering a stroke may have a drooping face, slurred speech, confusion, dizziness, difficulty walking, and so on.
    • If the person displays symptoms of being drunk but has not been drinking, these signs appear out of nowhere, or you are simply unsure, you can perform a few simple tests to see if the person is having a stroke. Ask them to smile, to raise both arms over their head, and to speak a simple sentence. If part of the person’s face droops or their smile is asymmetrical, if one arm seems to drift downward, and/or if they cannot repeat the sentence or seems to be searching for words, they may be having a stroke and needs emergency medical assistance.
    • A person with diabetes may display what could be interpreted as “drunk behaviour” when they are, in fact, experiencing ketoacidosis, which occurs when the body doesn’t have enough insulin and there is a build up of acids called ketones in the bloodstream. If you also notice the person has fruity-smelling breath and they have not been drinking fruit-flavoured drinks, they may be experiencing ketoacidosis and needs immediate medical help.
    • Disorders like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and ataxia all affect movement and may cause a person to appear drunk or have difficulty maintaining their balance. Don’t assume that someone who has difficulty keeping their balance is intoxicated.
  8. Advertisement

Add New Question

  • Question How can you tell if someone is high on painkillers? Tiffany Douglass is the Founder of Wellness Retreat Recovery Center, a JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) accredited drug and alcohol treatment program based in San Jose, California. She is also the Executive Director for Midland Tennessee at JourneyPure. Alcohol Treatment Specialist Expert Answer Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer. Signs that someone may be on painkillers include slurring their speech, difficulty keeping their eyes open, and falling asleep during regular activities. You might also notice that their work is suffering and they’re leaving the house less often.
  • Question Is cold turkey the best way to quit? Tiffany Douglass is the Founder of Wellness Retreat Recovery Center, a JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) accredited drug and alcohol treatment program based in San Jose, California. She is also the Executive Director for Midland Tennessee at JourneyPure. Alcohol Treatment Specialist Expert Answer

Ask a Question 200 characters left Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit Advertisement

  • If you’re worried that someone has a drinking problem, avoid confronting them head-on and telling them they need to stop. Instead, tell the person how their drinking makes you feel so they’re less likely to get defensive.
  • Try to be supportive if someone you know is struggling with a drinking problem. Recommend that they talk to a therapist and join a social support group, like Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Consider obtaining a blood alcohol content (BAC) reader. You can find inexpensive, keychain-sized readers that can remove the guesswork when you are trying to determine if someone is intoxicated.

Show More Tips Advertisement

  • At a BAC of less than 150 mg/dl, signs of visible intoxication are not reliably present in most drinkers, and the likelihood of identifying signs of impairment is less likely.
  • In most people, reliable signs of intoxication are present by casual observation at a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 150 mg/dl or more, even in most tolerant individuals.
  • In some states obvious intoxication means that if someone has consumed a large number of drinks, it should be obvious that they are intoxicated and not capable of driving. Other state laws define visible intoxication as specific types of behaviour such as trouble walking, slurred speech, and other common signs of alcohol intoxication.
  • John Brick, executive director of In toxin International, said that one of the deadliest consequence of alcohol over-consumption is impaired driving and it is still difficult for trained observers to fully identify “intoxication,” given that so many factors contribute to it. “It is important to understand and recognize intoxication because of the risk for injury that results from it.”
  • Anyone with an addiction who is trying to withdraw themselves from a substance, like alcohol, should talk to their doctor first to make sure they do it safely.

Advertisement Article Summary X To recognize the signs of intoxication, check to see if the person has glassy or bloodshot eyes, which could be a sign that they’ve been drinking too much. Also, notice if the person is stumbling, spilling their drink, or fumbling with their things since impaired motor function is a common symptom of alcohol intoxication.

Why don’t I feel drunk yet?

People who don’t get drunk – Some people seem to drink without getting drunk. It’s tempting to admire those individuals as if this kind of drinking is something to aspire to. In our culture, we idolise people who can hold their liquor. But in reality, if someone drinks a lot and never seems to get drunk, they have developed a high tolerance for alcohol.

  • Tolerance occurs because of your body’s remarkable ability to process alcohol.
  • Unlike with other drugs, your body actually tries to adapt to alcohol’s persistent presence.
  • And so, over time, you find yourself drinking more to experience the same effects.
  • Your tolerance for alcohol isn’t a badge of honour.

It’s a problem. Remember when you first drank alcohol? One or two drinks would have a big impact on you. If you’ve been drinking consistently for a while, you might have three, four or more drinks without really feeling drunk. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t effects, and you haven’t suddenly become immune to alcohol.

Even if you don’t feel drunk, you can still be dangerously over the limit for driving, your judgement can be impaired, and you can do yourself hidden damage. Your tolerance for alcohol isn’t a badge of honour. It’s a problem. Tolerance isn’t the same thing as being physically dependent on alcohol, but you should take it as a warning sign.

If you become physically dependent on alcohol, your body relies on it to function. Once you get to that stage, suddenly stopping can be dangerous, even deadly, as you begin to experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms, And you don’t need to be drinking every day to experience these consequences.

Is tipsy a little drunk?

If someone is tipsy, they are slightly drunk.

What should I do if I feel tipsy?

– You can’t make yourself sober up more quickly. Time is the only solution. If you’re feeling the effects of alcohol, drink water or sports drinks to prevent dehydration, Certain OTC medications and bland foods can help with a headache or an upset stomach. Also, seek help immediately if you think there’s any chance you may pass out.

How much alcohol will get me tipsy?

Number of Beers To Get You Drunk – The number of beers it takes to get drunk varies depending on factors such as a person’s weight, gender, and tolerance level. Generally speaking, it takes about 3-4 beers for the average person to feel tipsy, and around 5-6 beers to become legally intoxicated.

Can a truly get you tipsy?

Skip to Content Truly is a popular social drink that started receiving recognition in 2021. Indeed, there is alcohol in a Truly hard seltzer, but how many Truly’s to get drunk? Depending on the person, a couple may work, or it might take an entire case. One can of Truly does not hold a high percentage of alcohol volume, but many rely on this drink to get drunk.