How long Does Alcohol Stay In Saliva?

An accurate & clinically valid response to the query ‘What Amount Of Time Will Alcohol Remain In the Human Body’ is 60 minutes for every ounce of alcohol a person drinks.

On average, a human liver filter’s one alcoholic oz. in an hour, and a typical alcoholic beverage has about 0.6 alcoholic content per serving. Typical consumer servings are: Twelve ounces per beer bottle, eight ounces per malt liquor bottle, five ounces per serving of wine, & one and a half ounces per shot of liquor. Furthermore, if you continue consumption of alcohol in ever-greater quantities over time, alcohol will accumulate & extend the amount of additional time required for your body to filter it out. With each additional cocktail, beer, shot, etc., the amount of time becomes greater & the accurate concentration level of alcohol in the overlapping time required dissipating from your body.

Here’s a simple, ‘time elapsed’ example to illustrate the compound nature of this cumulative effect:

A person drinks a beer at midnight, and by 1am it has been filtered out of their system. But, that same person has a beer at midnight & then again at half past, then it will be 2am before all the alcohol leaves their system: Why? Because 30 minutes will remain from the first portion, & they’ll still need to wait another 60 minutes on account of the second portion – & this does not even factor in the amount of time which was required to consume either portion, which will extend the time even further in a manner somewhat more difficult to quantify! Knowing how long does alcohol stay in saliva is very important so I hope that our guide will help you.

Detection of Alcohol in Your Saliva: Standard Testing Methods

Alcohol can be found and measured within the human circulatory system using a standard known as ‘BAC’, which is an abbreviated short for ‘Blood Alcohol Content’. It’s achieved via 3 standardized test methods; urinary sample analysis, blood sample analysis, and finally breath sample analysis, commonly known for the name of the testing device used to administer the test (rather than the test itself), the name of that device is known by all under the genericized trademark ‘breathalyser’, which as a term or name is in and of itself a bit of a portmanteau. The purpose of monitoring an individual’s BAC is the ability to guarantee safety of the public. For Example: if a person is influenced by alcohol &/or driving a car or using any other type of industrial or motorized equipment, they may be incapable of controlling it properly.

A single alcoholic consumer portion elevates an individual’s ‘Blood Alcohol Content’ (also known as ‘BAC’) level up to an amount of 0.015 & probably won’t incapacitate or make a person drunken. This is true no matter what size, colour, gender, or whatever differentials, – besides a pre-existing illness involving a person’s liver, because the liver is the primary means of dissipating and filtering out alcohol, which the liver will execute at the same rate of absorption & filtration. Should an individual consume alcohol more rapidly than the human liver can metabolise, those spirits will become displaced within their bloodstream, cells, and alcohol saliva content. When that happens, the individual will experience an increase in their BAC, and the effects of inebriation influences become apparent, both in perceptions as well as their actions.

The information shown here is an approximated time span to illustrate the length of time alcoholic substances remain within a persons system, & is relevant to any saliva alcohol test detection period of time, as well as any other alcohol saliva test method:

  • Saliva test for alcohol: Between 24 and 120 hours (1-5 day time period).
  • Blood test for alcohol: Twelve hour time period.
  • Urine test for alcohol: Between 3 and 5 day time period, – by means of Metabolite EGT (Ethyl Glucuronide).
  • Breathalyser test for alcohol: upward toward an entire day.

Perhaps this serves as an explanation for the amount of time alcohol will remain in the human body, however it doesn’t adequately detail the story in its entirety.

What length of time will alcohol remain within the Saliva In Your Mouth?

A more detailed response to the query ‘what length of time will alcohol remain within the human body’ entails becoming familiar with the entire process, from beginning to end, of how a person’s body metabolises alcoholic spirits,

As an illustrative example, we’ll pursue the voyage of path taken through the human body, for purposes of this simulation, we’ll say it’s a typical & singular 330ml portioned bottle of beer, which is a commonly purchased item and quantity that anyone would readily recognize.

Our ‘Voyage through the human body’ will allow us an opportunity to confer additional relevant information to factor in alcoholic prevalence within the human body, for example hazards which include excessive intake, or the long term effects of alcoholic consumption in general, even when alcohol is no longer present in a person’s body.

Our play-by-play voyage of a single brewed beverage:

Our example individual moments ago took their final swig of their preferred ‘post banquet’ brand of swill, in the aforementioned and oh so well known portioned quantity of 330 millilitres, or ’12 fluid ounces’ for those still using imperial units of measurement as opposed to metric. Prepare for an unusual voyage through some truly bizarre terrain, beginning with a bottle placed between your lips, which soon places the contents of our alcoholic refreshment lower into the esophageal passage (throat) & continues into the intestinal tracts – it’s at this point where things begin to take some traumatic twists and turns

First destination: Intestinal Tract (also known as the ‘stomach’, or ‘belly’)

After our beverage reaches and is absorbed via the intestinal tract, it’s osmosis goes through the intestinal tract wall and it is via this method approximately 33% of the total alcohol content consumed is introduced directly into the bloodstream. The additional 66% of the alcohol’s total volume digested arrives in other locations, a description of said process to follow shortly hereafter. This process is dissimilar from the method by which foodstuff’s are digested by the intestinal tract, prior to introduction of post-digestion materials into other parts of the body. One can herewith easily infer that the cumulative effect of this methodical differential is unhealthy for the long-term alcohol consumer, & will eventually manifest itself in the form of impeded normal digestive function (among other forms of impeded function). Alternatively, the onset of alcoholic osmosis via this natural process is quite rapid in & of itself. However: within the digestive tract there are several variables, which can alter the timing of the absorption (and dissipation) process. A good example would be the total volume of foodstuffs already in the process of being digested (then) when alcohol is consumed, & would either accelerate or decelerate the absorption & dissipation of alcohol, which was directed to the digestive tract in the first place. When more foodstuffs are present, absorption is slower, less foodstuffs, & the absorption occurs more rapidly. Alcohol with a higher concentrated percentage (often measured in a rating system known as ‘proof’), schnapps, whiskey, tequila, often consumed via potions, commonly referred to as ‘shots’, (a small portioned glass, approximately 1.5 fluid ounces/imperial or 40-50 millilitres/metric), because while the total amount of liquid is significantly smaller, the concentration of alcohol is considerably higher. As a result of the above described process & its associated variables, it’s possible that a single beverage serving could stay within this phase of being absorbed upwards of 3 hours, or 180 minutes. Remember: everything described thus far involves approximately 33% of the total consumed volume of alcohol, and has no bearing or direct influence on the total remaining alcohol content which was routed to other portions of the body. The remainder will continue its voyage to a person’s ‘lower’ intestine, and once arriving there is constantly engaged in the absorption process by the circulatory system & blood’s osmotic transfer via the intestinal inner epithelial lining. Saliva alcohol detection times must be known before you move to the second step. The circulatory system & blood are the primary means of locomotion for alcohol. Our Voyage continues….

Second Destination: Cerebrum (Brain)

Have you ever heard the expression ‘the alcohol’s gone to his head’? As it turns out, it’s not just a metaphor: Alcohol doesn’t fill into your head, but the brain will experience effects from alcohol before any other bodily organ will, after the bloodstream absorbs it. Actual contact between alcohol & brain cells occur, causing the brain cells to absorb alcohol via the so called ‘blood barrier’. But the total alcoholic amount here is much lower than within their stomach or small intestine. Cognitive function becomes progressively impaired as BAC increases. 3 primary brain sections are affected: cerebral cortex, limbic system, & cerebellum. Alcohol acts as a powerful depressant, decreasing brain function.

Cerebral Cortex

The brain command centre. Here is where thought processes start, form into ideas, actions, etc. When alcohol suppresses these functions, the effects are as follows: an increase in talkativeness, heightened self-confidence, decreased inhibitive behaviour, unclear judgemental ability, blurry visual perception, distortion of auditory perceptions, amplification of a person’s physical threshold for pain. Alcohol reduces cerebral ability of processing informational tasks.

Limbic System

The motion and memory production within a person’s brain. If you ever have been influenced by intoxication, you may have expressed emotions loudly or forgot certain portions from their evening, resulting from a depressed functionality in their limbic system. Balance of emotions is restored without incident after alcohol dissipates, but not memory, blacking out aside; Studies show how alcohol damages the brain’s ability in new memory creation. Extensive alcoholism might cause a type of amnesia known as Wernicke/Korsakoff’s syndrome.


The brain’s muscular movement coordination center. Here alcoholic interference causes sensations of displaced balance (vertigo, for example) & difficulties to walk correctly occur if alcoholic substances depress cerebellum function. Research clearly indicates the human cerebellum contributes to functions of verbal development & learning, producing words, problem-solving, & the ability to plan. Specific research clearly indicates that cerebellum degenerative effects are common amongst alcoholics, and cellular necrosis causes permanent functional depreciation.

Third Destination: Cardiovascular System (Heart)

Unlike the human brain, a place where ‘direct’ absorption occurs, the heart doesn’t receive physical alcohol. But alcohol acts as a ‘vasodilator,’ causing dilated blood vessels, meaning more blood flows, but overall blood pressure lowers. To compensate for potentially decreased blood flow, heart- rate increases. (Skin appears flushed and sweaty whilst drinking).

Atrial Fibrillation

Excessive drinking can cause something called atrial fibrillation, (a.k.a. ‘AFib’), causing the heart to beat erratically & causes clots in the blood, strokes, failing heart, & additional types of atrial dysfunction.

Fourth Destination: The Kidneys

Kidney’s facilitate blood filtration. As the beverage’s alcohol is now entirely within the bloodstream by no, successive physical interaction is within the kidneys. Kidneys filter waste, sorting nutrient content, protein, etc. The alcohol is processed through the kidneys, remaining within a person’s bloodstream.

Secondary kidney function is balancing water content within the system. Alcohol’s will affect kidney execution of this function. Alcohol acts as a specific ‘diuretic’, among other things. Diuretics will increase urinary volume. (Combining this with an alcohol-induced increase of heart rate is the reason physical duress whilst drunk is ill-advised).

Urinary fluid is primarily water, & because alcohol forces urination, dehydration is a likely occurrence whilst inebriated. ‘cotton-mouth’, headaches, nausea, lethargy, a nasty hangover later, all caused by dehydration within a person’s kidney system.

Fifth Destination: The Bladder

Frequent urination is caused when alcohol slows vasopressin production, a kidney hormone which facilitates water re-absorption & otherwise finish off within the bladder. Normal vasopressin amounts ensure that water going to the bladder ends as useless waste. Alcohol diminishes vasopressin, then a person’s bladder fills up with the water content from the beverage.

Alcohol causes heightened ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) levels within urine. EtG is produced when alcohol has metabolized, & trace alcohol amounts disposed of via urination (under10% volumetric total of consumed alcohol) is why the urinalysis testing method is able to determine if someone consumed alcohol recently (within forty-eight hrs.).

Sixth Destination: The Liver

Liver metabolises the remaining alcohol within the system. Most alcohol leaves a person’s body by means of liver metabolism. Once fully metabolized, the remainder is the toxin chemical ‘acetaldehyde’. Acetaldehyde is dispersed via additional metabolization into CO2 and H2O (via exhalation, sweat/urination, etc).

Acetaldehyde causes cellular damage to liver tissue, and can causes internal scarring of one’s liver. The body will recognize acetaldehyde danger, & will want to burn it up as a fuel, Thereby inhibiting fat usage as a fuel. So this causes a fat build-up inside liver, Causing ‘fatty’ liver-disease, & with continual abuse thereafter leads to ‘alcohol-hepatitis’, deriving from liver inflammation. The final, fatal step towards liver disease from alcohol is cirrhosis. Scar tissue replaces liver cells, Impeding blood flow, leading to cancer and/or death.

Quoting a known online publication/journal, ‘National Institute/Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism: “Injury of the Liver is caused directly by toxic metabolically created alcoholic by-products, & cause byproduct induced inflammation. Exposing cells of the liver directly to known bacterial toxins causes liver diseases. Continued injury to the liver causes fibrosis and cirrhosis.”

Final Destination: Hangover

It is important to know how to pass a saliva alcohol test so we hope these steps have helped you thus far.  Alcohol in saliva can be tricky so you must be equipped with as much knowledge as possible.The body’s need to replace its water, its nutrients, its mineral/vitamin content lost through alcohol processing will translate into a hangover. Alcohol leaves your system, its effects remain: Dizziness, light-headedness, disorientation, weakness, a.k.a. ‘the morning after’ or, ‘hangover’. Drink water, a healthy diet, and exercise. However, no-one is exempt from alcohol’s effects.

There are many options for removing the body’s alcoholic residuals:

  • Drinking additional fluid, 8 water cups everyday is recommended
  • Fast for one to three days
  • Cleanse your liver such as by consuming milk thistle
  • Exercise to get rid of toxins

Final Resolution: So How Long Does Alcohol Stay on Your Saliva?

For what length of time will alcohol remain within a person’s saliva? Take a saliva alcohol test know the exact answer but here is what we think.  Approximately 60 minutes for the saliva to process fully a single beverage. Ingestion to absorption in the stomach, 5 min. the progression of blood-brain-kidneys consumes the majority of time, the remainder via liver metabolism (10 minutes), urination, sweat & breath. In under an hour, you’re clear of the beer. But remember, having 2 drinks within an hour doesn’t mean an hour’s needed to purge. Every serving requires 1 hour. So do try to remember these facts when driving or remaining sober on occasion. Food & coffee won’t gain sobriety, but merely time.