How Many Shots Does It Take to Get Drunk? (2023 Updated) (2023)

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin

If you plan to take a few shots with friends or enjoy a little whiskey over dinner, it is important to know your alcohol tolerance to avoid getting intoxicated. While it is true that no size fits all, our team will explore how alcohol affects our bodies and will help you avoid getting intoxicated.

Do you ever wonder how many shots does it take to get drunk? Keep on reading to find out.

Table of Contents

How Many Shots Could Get You Drunk?

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An average person can get drunk after four to five shots of alcohol. Two or three shots can get you tipsy, while seven or more shots will leave you extremely drunk.

However, alcohol has different alcohol content, and people have different alcohol toleration.

Furthermore, there are factors to consider when defining the ideal alcohol consumption of a person. It could be the type of alcohol, body mass, gender, genetics, and the drugs you take when drinking.

Types of Alcohol

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Gin is a colorless or pale yellow spirit made from grain mash. A standard drink’s principal flavor ingredient is juniper berry [1].

This alcohol is mostly similar to vodka because of its neutral spirit, but it has a completely different taste when mixed with flavors and spices.

Gin has an ABV of 36% – 50%, like whiskey and rum, and it is not as strong as vodka.

Basically, there are two ways to drink gin: neat or mixed drink. Five to six shots can make you intoxicated if you plan to consume gin neat.

However, three to four alcoholic drinks mixed with gin can make your night out enjoyable.


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Rum, like whiskey, has an average alcohol content from 36% to 50%. Depending on the brand and type, spiced rums can make the alcohol flavored for a better taste.

You may not feel tipsy after the third shot because hard liquor may take time to affect your system. But, how much rum can get you drunk?

Rum can be a strong spirit, and if you plan on drinking neat shots of rum, you may get intoxicated on the sixth shot, especially if you take 3-4 shots, then wait 20 minutes.


Brandy contains 50% ABV and is usually served on the rocks or with a mixer as an after-dinner drink.

Since brandy is a pretty versatile drink, the alcoholic beverage is popular among bars and can be used as a base for cocktail drinks.

Since the liver absorbs 1 ounce of alcohol per hour [2], two shots of brandy can make you tipsy.

However, a seasonal female drinker may need five shots of mixing alcohol to get intoxicated with brandy.


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Drinking vodka has health benefits, and it can be consumed the same way you drink wine and beer. Vodka has an ABV of 40%.

However, depending on the brand, it can go higher up to 95%. Since vodka is distilled, the alcohol percentage may increase dramatically, especially Smirnoff and Grey Goose.

When drinking popular vodka brands, you can notice the difference between cheap and expensive, especially when you drink it neat because of its smoothness.

Two to four shots of vodka can make you a little tipsy, while you may feel extremely intoxicated in ten or more. But, how many vodka shots will get you drunk?


Tequila is a Central and South American beverage extremely popular in the U.S and other parts of the world.

Most tequilas sit at around 50% ABV, and the most popular way to drink it is in a single shot.

An average person can be tipsy after two shots of tequila, moderately intoxicated in four shots, and very intoxicated at eight or more.

However, it may vary depending on alcohol toleration, gender, age, and body weight. Learn how to make tequila jello shots here.


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Whiskey can be one of the most confusing types of alcohol you can encounter because of its spelling; whiskey or whisky and its subcategories; Irish whiskey, bourbon, or scotch.

Depending on the categories and brands of whiskey, the average ABV of this pure alcohol ranges from 36% to 50%.

So, how much whiskey will get you drunk? Generally, a four-shot glass of whiskey can get you seriously intoxicated, especially if one glass contains 30 ml to 45 ml.

Doing the math, around 120 ml to 180 ml of a whiskey bottle can make you intoxicated faster.

Beer & Malt

Beer and Malt, like wine, have a wide selection of subcategories like ales, pilsners, and lagers.

However, since the liquor brewing process has a large effect on the ABV percentage, beer and Malt range from 4% to 8% only.

An average guy can consume up to 4 to 5 bottles of beer to be intoxicated, and for the average woman, it’s three to four beers.

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Signs That You’re Already Drunk

Everyone can be affected when drinking too much alcohol differently. Each sign can depend on age, past drinking history, weight, gender, food, and drug intake.

Some of the signs to know if you are intoxicated or worst in alcohol abuse are slow or poor judgment, lack of coordination, and vision problems.

You may also feel slow heart rate or breathing, drowsiness, and loss of balance when you consume too much alcohol, especially on an empty stomach.

Since the more alcohol you consume has a stronger effect on the body, it can be dangerous, so drink moderately and within your limits. But what are drinks that don’t taste like alcohol?

Factors to Consider

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Body Mass

The first factor to consider when identifying the alcohol toleration of a person is the body mass.

It is not a coincidence that bigger people can hold alcohol and do heavy drinking better than petite ones because body mass plays a large role in getting intoxicated.

When you drink alcohol, the liquid is distributed on the body, and if you are bigger, you have more space to diffuse the alcohol on the body.

Also Read: How Many Shots Are In A Litre?

Drug Interactions

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Do you take antidepressants or opioids? Do you know that drug interactions can increase the intoxication of alcohol?

If you are taking medications and want to have more than one drink, you may be creating a bottleneck effect on your liver.

When you consume alcohol and have drug interaction, the alcohol will be absorbed slower and more intoxicated.

Medical practitioners highly advise not to take liquor when on medication because of health risks.

Find out which shot is our favorite to order at a bar here.


Blood alcohol levels quickly rise when dehydrated because there is less water in your bloodstream.

And since you don’t have enough water in your bloodstream, it would be harder to dilute the alcohol you are drinking.

Also, when you consume alcohol and are dehydrated, instead of your body absorbing the filtered water from the kidney, it will go straight to your bladder.

Empty Stomach

Before consuming liquor, eating food is important because you may easily get intoxicated on an empty stomach.

When you have a full meal before drinking alcohol, intoxication can be slower and take you an hour or more.

Eating healthy will also slow down the absorption of alcohol in your body. It also helps avoid high blood pressure and makes you less intoxicated than usual.

Also Read: How Many ML In A Shot?


Genetics or genes create an impact on intoxication, and your ethnicity can be a factor to consider when it comes to higher alcohol tolerance.

Science proved that Asians and Native Americans get drunk faster because they produce less alcohol dehydrogenase [3].

With less dehydrogenase, alcohol stays in the blood longer and more concentrated, making you intoxicated easily.


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Your gender has a large role in how well you can handle alcohol. Normally, women tend to be quickly more intoxicated than men because of little acetaldehyde dehydrogenase. You will need to metabolize the alcohol in the liver.

Since men have 40% more of these enzymes, it would be easier to metabolize and digest the alcohol they drink.

Read: Do Americans Consume More Wine or Beer?


Will 4 shots get me drunk?

Yes, four shots can get you drunk. Most people get intoxicated after four shots of wine or other liquor.

It happens more quickly if the person is petite, female, dehydrated, with drug interactions, or took one drink on an empty stomach.

How many shots is a lot?

More than one shot is a lot, but depending on the context, twenty one-shots is a lot, and drinking the same amount in one sitting can be dangerous and life-threatening.

Taking drinks more than twenty one can cause alcohol poisoning or liver disease, harm your health, and, worst, kill you.

How many shots will make you tipsy?

Three to four shots can make you tipsy. Moreso, if the person is small in stature and considering the gender and other factors, two to four shots can make you feel tipsy.

How many shots can a woman handle?

A woman can handle five to six shots of vodka glasses. Other women can work fine in taking shots up to two to three.

The maximum limit that a female can handle can be five or six shots or drinks only.

Final Thoughts

The number of shots to get drunk depends on different factors such as body weight, genetics, gender, body build, drug interactions, and how much alcohol you will take.

Whether you want to explore your own alcohol tolerance or are just curious about someone’s capacity in drinking, make sure you are within the legal limit and legal drinking age.

In addition, don’t consume alcohol on an empty stomach, stay hydrated, sip slowly and know your limits. Drinking in moderation can be harmful, and binge drinking can be dangerous.

Lastly, don’t drink and drive because you may get into legal trouble or be unable to drive safely.




How Many Shots Does It Take to Get Drunk? (2023 Updated)? ›

4 to 6 shots will get most people drunk. And it may take 6+ shots for a large man with a high alcohol tolerance to get drunk. If you're not sure how many shots it will take for you to get drunk, start slowly! Start with one or two shots and go from there. Or try lower proof liquor and liqueur.

How many vodka shots does it take to get a 15 year old drunk? ›

If you drink the 40% (80 proof) faster than that, it could happen very fast. About 4 or 5 shots (drink) in an hour would probably get a 15 year old (not familiar with drinking) very drunk.

What would 21 shots do to you? ›

Doing 21 shots would be roughly 11.34 ounces or 321.5 grams of alcohol mixed in 5 liters of blood. According to, 0.45 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood – 22.5 grams in the entire human body – could lead to death.

Is 21 shots too many? ›

Consuming 21 shots of alcohol in one sitting is dangerous and deadly. Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time will increase your risk of alcohol poisoning.

Will 12 shots get you drunk? ›

But if you're looking to really let loose, it takes about 8-9 shots before you start feeling pretty inebriated. However, it's important for men to keep in mind that beyond 10 shots, things can get pretty wild. In fact, anything beyond that might leave you in quite a drunken stupor.

Can a 13 year old boy drink vodka? ›

No, it's never safe for someone below the legal drinking age to get drunk. Alcohol can damage the developing brain and cause severe health problems for young people.

Is a shot of vodka bad for a 13 year old? ›

Advice for parents:

If children do drink alcohol, they should not do so until they're at least 15 years old. If 15 to 17 year olds drink alcohol, it should be rarely, and never more than once a week. They should always be supervised by a parent or carer.

How long does being drunk last? ›

Generally speaking, it takes about 6 hours for the effects of being drunk to wear off. If you count the hangover/detoxification period that happens after drinking alcohol, the effects may last longer. For most people, one drink leads to a . 02 blood alcohol level.

How many shots will mess you up? ›

4 to 6 shots will get most people drunk. And it may take 6+ shots for a large man with a high alcohol tolerance to get drunk. If you're not sure how many shots it will take for you to get drunk, start slowly! Start with one or two shots and go from there. Or try lower proof liquor and liqueur.

How many shots a day is ok? ›

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines moderation as one to two alcoholic drinks or less per day, depending on your gender. For vodka, this means one or two standard shots measured at approximately 1.5 ounces each (at 80 proof).

How much alcohol is ok? ›

To reduce the risk of alcohol-related harms, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men or 1 drink or less in a day for women, on days when alcohol is consumed.

How much alcohol is unhealthy? ›

Heavy drinking includes binge drinking and has been defined for women as 4 or more drinks on any day or 8 or more per week, and for men as 5 or more drinks on any day or 15 or more per week.

Do people take 21 shots on their 21st birthday? ›

Taking 21 shots on your 21st birthday is a trend that has been swooping up fresh of-agers. The goal is to take 21 shots without throwing up — like a champ, basically. This has mainly been a big trend with women turning 21.

How many shots is tipsy? ›

On average, it takes about 5-8 shots of vodka for a person to start feeling drunk. However, for those with low tolerance levels, it may only take 1-2 shots to start feeling tipsy.

What does tipsy feel like? ›

A person will enter the euphoric stage of intoxication after consuming 2 to 3 drinks as a man or 1 to 2 drinks as a woman, in an hour. This is the tipsy stage. You might feel more confident and chatty. You might have a slower reaction time and lowered inhibitions.

Can you drink 15 year old vodka? ›

Base liquors like whiskey, vodka, rum, brandy, gin, and tequila usually don't have a high enough sugar content in them to kickstart oxidation. Their high-alcohol levels keep bacteria from growing in the unopened bottles. If stored in a cool and dark place, sealed base liquors will be good for years to come.

Is it OK to give a 15 year old alcohol? ›

Here are some tips for parents of teens to help their child make healthy life choices about alcohol: ideally, do not supply alcohol to anyone under 18; waiting as long as possible to start drinking alcohol is safer. if you are providing sips, do so under supervision, for example, at home.

How many 15 year olds drink alcohol? ›

In addition, the risk of drinking among underage people increases as they get older. By the age of 15, 33% of people have had at least one drink. By the age of 18, that number increases to 60%.

How many vodka shots does it take to get a 14 year old drunk? ›

It depends on how big you are since body mass makes a difference on your blood alcohol levels. But assuming you are an average 14 year old it should only take a maximum of 3 shots before you are properly feeling the effects.


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