Two thirds of adults consumed alcohol in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obviously, the amount varies, but nobody wants to end the day with a DUI because they thought they were sober when they were not.

Numerous factors affect how long alcohol stays in your system, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). It can be difficult to determine whether you are legally safe to operate a vehicle if you don’t understand these factors, and doing so can have tragic results.

How long does alcohol stay in your system? says how long alcohol stays in your system is dependent upon your age, weight, whether you’ve eaten food recently, medications, liver disease and the time between drinks. One cup of beer may stay in one person’s system longer than it will for someone else with a different weight.

The ability to metabolize alcohol slows as you age, the Cleveland Clinic’s Health Essentials website says. Alcohol will have heightened effects on those with lower weights and smaller body sizes. If you’re drinking on an empty stomach, then the effects of alcohol may be enhanced. Different medications can have dangerous side effects when paired with alcohol. Any present liver conditions can harm your ability to handle alcohol and process it. Binge drinking in a short period will also increase the effects of alcohol, all according to the clinic site.

The NIAAA estimates that one drink would be metabolized and out of your system after three hours, two drinks after slightly over four hours, three drinks by six hours and four drinks by seven. The NIAAA emphasizes this is dependent on the factors above.