How Long After Vodka Can I Drive (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 Hour per 1 Standard Drink

Vodka is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages which is consumed around the whole world. Vodka exists in different varieties, i.e., some vodka drinks are made using grains, such as corn, rice, or wheat. But nowadays potatoes are also being used as a substitute, and vodka made from potatoes is getting popular as well.



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Usually, vodka contains 40% of alcohol, but there are different types of vodka which have alcohol even more than 80%. To get a little drunk, 3-4 shots of vodka are more than enough. And consuming 9-10 shots of vodka can get you extremely drunk. As the tolerance level for each person is different, how many shots can get you drunk is also going to differ. But how long after consuming vodka can we drive?

How Long After Vodka Can I Drive

How Long After Vodka Can I Drive?

Vodka consumedWaiting period
1 shot of Vodka30 minutes to feel the effects
2 shots of Vodka2 hours to metabolize

After drinking a few shots, you need to sober up before driving. Once you have sobered up you can maintain safe driving. Once you have consumed one shot of vodka, you won’t feel its effects right away. It takes approximately thirty minutes for your body to feel the effects of vodka. To know how long after vodka can you drive, you should follow the standard one hour per drink rule.

Usually, if you have consumed one shot of vodka, i.e., one standard drink, then you must wait for one hour before you drive. And to process three vodka shots, you need to wait for another three hours. But even after you stop drinking, the alcohol level continues to rise for up to three hours in your bloodstream. Thus, it is hard to decide how much longer you need to wait before you can drive.

As you know, you need to wait until the alcohol level in your system lowers. But how long you are under the effects of vodka depends on various factors. These factors include your age, gender, weight and height, empty or full stomach, your health, medical conditions (if any), and your speed of drinking. These factors determine your metabolism rate.

Your BAC (blood alcohol content) determines whether you are drunk or not. If your BAC reaches 0.08% or more, then you are considered drunk. You cannot speed up the absorption of alcohol in your body. The only option you have is to give time to your body.

Why does it Take That Long After Vodka to Drive?

As mentioned before, if you follow the standard 1-hour per drink rule, it gives your body enough time to lower the vodka effects. But some factors determine how the drink can affect that person. These factors include age, gender, height and weight, empty or full stomach, your health, medical conditions (if any), and your speed of drinking.

Your metabolism rate slows down as you age. Younger people metabolize vodka faster as compared to people in their 40s or 50s. This is because, as you age, your blood circulation rate slows down, which affects the metabolism of vodka. Gender also affects the metabolism rate. Females experience alcohol effects differently, and it is possible for females to feel the effects more as compared with males. This is because of some hormonal factors, lower body water volume, and low level of liver enzyme.

The height and weight of a person affect the tolerance level and metabolism rate. The more the weight and height, the more vodka you can consume before you get drunk. If you consume vodka with an empty stomach, your body absorbs the alcohol faster, which leads to a high concentration of alcohol in the body. But if consumed with a full stomach, the food helps in reducing the absorption of alcohol.

Your health also determines your tolerance level to alcohol, which means you might feel the effects of alcohol more or less as compared to other people. If you have any medical conditions, the medications you take for those conditions also affect your alcohol metabolism.

Thus, the above factors also affect the time you should wait after consuming vodka.


Thus, a standard 1-hour per drink is enough for your body to metabolize the vodka. But if you’re consuming vodka at a faster rate, i.e., 2-3 shots in thirty minutes, then it results in a slower metabolism rate. This is because, due to the faster consumption rate, your liver doesn’t get much time to process the vodka.

If you are still feeling intoxicated after waiting one hour for one shot of vodka, it is better for you to not drive right away. You should wait for a little longer. This is because the lingering effects of alcohol can impair your judgment, make it difficult for you to focus, and you’ll also experience blurred vision. Hence, it’s better to wait until the alcohol in your system is metabolized.


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