Knowing how long alcohol stays in your system is important not only for safety measures, and avoiding dangerous interactions with other medications, but also to determine how long the alcohol will remain in your system for a drug test, such as a pre-employment drug screen. Depending on the type of test used, and the alcohol dosage and frequency, it may be possible to come up positive for an alcohol drug screen the following day, under certain circumstances.
Generally speaking, a person’s Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) lowers about .015 per hour. This means that it may be possible to fail a drug screen the following day, such as if a candidate were drinking heavily late into the night and took the drug screen early the following morning. An example of this would be that someone with a .200 BAC may still have a BAC level over 12 hours after drinking. Even if a patient was to take a “detox drink” or other detox product, it is nearly impossible to speed up the process to lower one’s BAC. They may feel more alert and the alcohol effects diminishing, but they can still show up positive on a drug test the next day.