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    What happens when you drink alcohol

    When you drink alcohol, you don’t digest alcohol. It passes quickly into your bloodstream and travels to every part of your body. Alcohol affects your brain first, then your kidneys, lungs and liver. The effect on your body depends on your age, gender, weight and the type of alcohol.

    What happens when you drink alcohol

    When you drink alcohol, you don’t digest alcohol. It passes quickly into your bloodstream and travels to every part of your body. Alcohol affects your brain first, then your kidneys, lungs and liver. The effect on your body depends on your age, gender, weight and the type of alcohol.

    How alcohol travels through your body

    Your bloodstream distributes alcohol quickly to your brain, kidney, lungs and liver. On average, your liver takes an hour to break down one unit of alcohol. This can depend on:

    your weight your gender your age

    how quickly your body turns food into energy

    how much food you’ve eaten

    the strength and type of alcohol

    any medicine you’re taking


    If your weight is low, you feel the effects of alcohol more quickly because you have less tissue to absorb alcohol.


    Most children and young people are smaller and weigh less than adults. Alcohol can affect them quickly. Children and young people’s brains are still developing, so even small amounts of alcohol can be damaging.

    Your body changes as you reach old age. You have increased body fat and decreased body water. This affects how your body processes alcohol. If you still drink the same amount of alcohol you drank in adulthood, you feel the effects more severely. Older people who drink too much alcohol are at greater risk of physical and mental health problems including:

    stroke heart disease cancer depression confusion dementia


    Alcohol affects women more quickly than men. Women are usually smaller and weigh less than men, and have less tissue to absorb alcohol.

    A woman’s body has more fat and less water than a man’s body. If a man and woman are the same size and drink the same amount, the alcohol is stronger in the woman's blood than in the man’s. The woman will get drunk more quickly and feel the effects for longer.

    Alcohol also stays in women’s blood for longer. They have lower levels of the enzyme that breaks down alcohol.

    Women feel the effects of alcohol more quickly before a period and during ovulation. The contraceptive pill can have the opposite effect – it takes longer for alcohol to leave the body. A woman in this situation might drink more than she realises before she feels the effects.


    You absorb 20 per cent of alcohol into your bloodstream through your stomach and the rest into your bloodstream through your small intestine.

    Drinking a small amount of alcohol stimulates your appetite because it increases the flow of stomach juices. A large amount of alcohol dulls your appetite and can cause malnutrition.

    You can develop a stomach ulcer by drinking too much alcohol. This can happen when the stimulated gastric juices mix with the high alcohol content and irritate your stomach lining.


    When alcohol enters your bloodstream, it widens your blood vessels. This causes:

    blushing, as there is a greater flow of blood to the skin surface

    a temporary feeling of warmth

    heat loss and a rapid decrease in body temperature

    a drop in blood pressure


    Alcohol dulls the parts of your brain that control how your body works. This affects your actions and your ability to make decisions and stay in control. Alcohol influences your mood and can also make you feel down or aggressive.

    As the concentration of alcohol in your bloodstream increases, your behaviour and body functions change. At first, you may feel happy and less inhibited, but after several drinks you'll probably:

    slur your words have blurred vision

    lose your coordination

    There is no immediate way to sober up. It takes time for your body to process alcohol. The morning after a heavy night’s drinking, you are likely to have a high concentration of alcohol in your bloodstream.

    You may not be sober or safe to drive a vehicle. The legal alcohol limit for driving measures the amount of alcohol in your breath, blood or urine.


    Alcohol is a diuretic and increases urine production. When you drink alcohol, you need to urinate more often. This causes thirst and dehydration.


    When alcohol is fizzy, you can inhale this. From your lungs, alcohol goes quickly into your bloodstream.


    When you drink alcohol, your liver oxidises 95 per cent of it. This means your liver converts alcohol into water and carbon monoxide. Your liver can only oxidise one unit of alcohol an hour.

    Drinking with an empty or full stomach

    If you drink alcohol with an empty stomach, the alcohol passes directly into your bloodstream. If you’ve eaten before drinking, the rate of alcohol absorption slows down but doesn’t stop.

    Types of drink

    Alcohol mixed with water or fruit juice is absorbed more slowly. Alcohol mixed with fizzy drinks or mixers is absorbed more quickly.

    More useful links

    Getting help with drug or problems

    Alcohol units

    How alcohol affects your health

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    Source : www.nidirect.gov.uk

    How Alcohol Impacts the Brain

    The stages of alcohol intoxication, how your body reacts and how it can affect your brain.

    How Alcohol Impacts the Brain

    How Alcohol Impacts the Brain What Alcohol Can Do to Your Health

    Published March 2021


    this article Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share through Email Print

    Do you indulge in a glass of wine every now and then? You are not alone. More than 85% of adults report drinking alcohol at some point. In 2020, alcohol consumption in the U.S. spiked, with heavy drinking increasing by 41% among women.

    While having a drink from time to time is unlikely to cause health problems, moderate or heavy drinking can impact the brain. And, alcohol abuse can cause deficits over time.

    Intoxication occurs when alcohol intake exceeds your body's ability to metabolize alcohol.

    — Jeffrey T. Johnson, DO

    Alcohol in Your Body

    Alcohol affects your body quickly. It is absorbed through the lining of your stomach into your bloodstream. Once there, it spreads into tissues throughout your body. Alcohol reaches your brain in only five minutes, and starts to affect you within 10 minutes.

    After 20 minutes, your liver starts processing alcohol. On average, the liver can metabolize 1 ounce of alcohol every hour. A blood alcohol level of 0.08, the legal limit for drinking, takes around five and a half hours to leave your system. Alcohol will stay in urine for up to 80 hours and in hair follicles for up to three months.

    "Intoxication occurs when alcohol intake exceeds your body's ability to metabolize alcohol and break it down," states Jeffrey T. Johnson, DO, Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group board-certified specialist in addiction medicine.

    Your Brain on Alcohol

    Your whole body absorbs alcohol, but it really takes its toll on the brain. Alcohol interferes with the brain's communication pathways. It can also affect how your brain processes information.

    There are several stages of alcohol intoxication:

    Subliminal intoxication. With a blood alcohol content (BAC) between 0.01 – 0.05, this is the first stage of intoxication. You may not look like you have been drinking, but your reaction time, behavior and judgment may be slightly altered. Depending on weight, most men and women enter this stage after one drink.Euphoria. During the early stages of drinking, your brain releases more dopamine. This chemical is linked with pleasure. During euphoria, you may feel relaxed and confident. But, your reasoning and memory may be slightly impaired. Often referred to as "tipsy," this stage occurs when your BAC is between 0.03 and 0.12.Excitement. At this stage, with a BAC from 0.09 to 0.25, you are now legally intoxicated. This level of intoxication affects the occipital lobe, temporal lobe and frontal lobe in your brain. Drinking too much can cause side effects specific to each lobe's role, including blurred vision, slurred speech and hearing, and lack of control, respectively. The parietal lobe, which processes sensory information, is also affected. You may have a loss of fine motor skills and a slower reaction time. This stage is often marked by mood swings, impaired judgment, and even nausea or vomiting.Confusion. A BAC of 0.18 to 0.3 often looks like disorientation. Your cerebellum, which helps with coordination, is impacted. As a result, you may need help walking or standing. Blackouts, or the temporary loss of consciousness or short-term memory, are also likely to occur at this stage. This is a result of the hippocampus, the region of the brain that is responsible for making new memories, not working well. You may also have a higher pain threshold, which may increase your risk for injury.Stupor. If you reach a BAC of 0.25, you may have concerning signs of alcohol poisoning. At this time, all mental, physical and sensory functions are severely impaired. The risk for passing out, suffocation and injury is high.Coma. At a BAC of 0.35, you are at risk for going into a coma. This occurs due to compromised respiration and circulation, motor responses and reflexes. A person in this stage is at risk of death.Death. A BAC over 0.45 may cause death due to alcohol poisoning or failure of the brain to control the body's vital functions.

    Drinking and Driving

    The impaired judgment you have when drinking alcohol may cause you to think that you can still drive, regardless of your BAC. Drivers with a BAC of 0.08 or more are 11 times more likely to be killed in a single-vehicle crash than non-drinking drivers. Some states have higher penalties for people who drive with high BAC (0.15 to 0.20 or above) due to the increased risk of fatal accidents.

    How Much Is Too Much?

    Your body's response to alcohol depends on many factors. These include your age, gender, overall health, how much you drink, how long you have been drinking and how often you normally drink.

    Those who drink occasionally tend to recover once they are sober. However, while their judgment is impaired, they may make poor decisions with lasting effects, such as driving under the influence.Those who drink moderately, one or two drinks per day, can have a higher risk for breast cancer. They may also be prone to increased violence or accidents.Heavy or chronic drinking occurs over an extended period of time. For women, this is more than three drinks per day or seven drinks per week. For men, it is more than four drinks per day or 14 drinks per week. For perspective, there are five drinks in a bottle of wine. Heavy or chronic drinking can cause lasting damage.

    Source : www.nm.org

    ServSafe Alcohol Test Flashcards

    Start studying ServSafe Alcohol Test. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.

    ServSafe Alcohol Test

    criminal liability

    Click card to see definition 👆

    being held responsible for committing a crime.

    Click again to see term 👆

    civil liability

    Click card to see definition 👆

    being held responsible for payment of damages for injuring a person or doing nothing to prevent an injury

    Click again to see term 👆

    1/82 Created by hannah_miller20

    Terms in this set (82)

    criminal liability

    being held responsible for committing a crime.

    civil liability

    being held responsible for payment of damages for injuring a person or doing nothing to prevent an injury


    T/F: Servers can't be held criminally liable for violating alcohol service laws


    T/F: Servers can be sued and forced to pay damages if their actions or lack of care while serving alcohol leads to an injury.

    dram shop laws

    laws that allow an establishment's owners and employees to be sued by someone injured by a guest who had been drinking alcohol at the establishment-LOOK OVER PAGE 1-4!

    liquor authority

    state or municipal agency that enforces alcohol regulations and licensing laws


    city, town, country, or village


    have legal responsibilities

    if liquor laws are broken, what can happen?

    law suits, fines, closure of your establishment, criminal charges, imprisonment

    most states will hold you criminally liable if...

    serve alcohol to a minor, serve a guest who is or appears to be intoxicated, possesses, sells, or allows the sale of drugs on the premises

    what happens if you are found criminally liable

    probation, fined, or jail time

    responsibilities of the Alcoholic Beverage Control or Liquor Control Commission

    enforcing alcohol laws, issuing and monitoring liquor licenses, issuing citations for violations, holding hearings for violators of the liquor code

    the liquor authority can issue citations for:

    selling liquor to a minor, failing to check the ID of a guest who appears to be underage, allowing a minor to enter the establishment with a fake ID, serving a guest who is or appears to be intoxicated, discriminating against guests due to race, gender, age, or sexual orientation, or selling or serving alcohol when it is not permitted

    legal age to drink

    21. some states allow parent/guardian to buy alcohol and serve to minor

    legal age to serve

    21 however, it varies. another note card

    how does the age to serve vary

    some underage servers can: bring alcohol to the table but not to pour it, take the order and payment for the drink, but not to serve the order, or serve alcohol if they have applied for permission from the liquor authority.

    illegal to serve a pregnant guest?

    it is illegal to deny alcohol service to a woman because she is pregnant-gender discrimination

    blood alcohol content (BAC)

    amount of alcohol that has been absorbed into the bloodstream. it is stated as a percentage

    small intestine

    organ from which most alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream


    organ responsible for breaking down alcohol in the body. It does this at a rate of one drink per hour


    ability to deal with the effects of alcohol without showing signs


    measure of a liquor's strength. the percentage of alcohol in liquor can be determined by dividing the proof in half

    steps that alcohol goes through in the body

    1. mouth-a small amount of alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream from here. 2. stomach-some alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream through the stomach wall. 3. small intestine-most of the alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream from here. 4. throughout the body-once in the bloodstream, alcohol travels quickly throughout the body. It will reach the brain in minutes.


    amount of alcohol in bloodstream

    A BAC of .10 means...

    there is about one drop of alcohol for every 1,000 drops of blood in the bloodstream

    What is the BAC limit in all 50 states?


    A BAC of .30 or higher can lead to

    coma or death

    how fast does the liver break down alcohol

    one drink per hour

    factors that affect a guest's BAC

    drinking rate and amount consumed, drink strength, body size, body fat, gender, age, emotional state, medications, food, and carbonation

    can alcohol affect guests after they've stopped drinking?

    yes! Alcohol will continue to enter their bloodstreams

    why do smaller people have a higher BAC than a large person?

    small people have less blood in their bodies to dilute alcohol


    T/F: A person with a large percentage of body fat will have a higher BAC than a lean person.

    Does body fat absorb alcohol?

    NO! this forces it to remain in the bloodstream until broken down by the liver. Alcohol can pass through muscle in a lean person and spread throughout the body.

    Who will have a higher BAC: Men or women? Why?

    Women because they have a higher percentage of body fat, have a smaller amount of a stomach enzyme that helps break down alcohol, and are typically smaller than men, and so have less blood in their bodies.


    A younger person will have a higher BAC than a senior citizen

    Why do senior citizens have a higher BAC?

    body fat typically increases with age and enzyme action tends to slow as a person gets older.

    Source : quizlet.com

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