After the alcohol has been absorbed and passes through the body, it must be eliminated. The liver is responsible for the elimination – through metabolism – of approximately 90-95 percent of ingested alcohol from the body. The remainder of the alcohol is eliminated through excretion of alcohol in breath and urine.
Healthy people metabolize alcohol at a fairly consistent rate. As a rule of thumb, on average a person will eliminate one standard drink per hour. Several factors influence this rate. The rate of elimination tends to be higher when the blood alcohol concentration in the body is very high or very low. Additionally, the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol quickly tends to diminish with age.
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Slide 24: How Alcohol is Eliminated