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    Wine plays an
    important role in many
    aspects of our lives. It
    is used for Kiddush
    and Havdalah, on
    Purim, the four cups
    of wine at the Seder,
    and many other
    occasions. It must
    be used carefully,
    however, as intoxicating beverages can
    disqualify someone from being able to
    daven, say Krias Shema, and recite other
    brachos. How much wine would disallow
    him from doing so? How long must he
    wait until he sobers up? These and many
    other issues relating to this very important
    topic will be discussed below.
    The Gemara says that one who is drunk and
    davens (Shemoneh Esrei) is considered as
    if he worships avodah zarah. The Gemara
    also mentions that one who is careful not
    to daven when he is drunk is saved from
    pain and suffering.

    The reason for this restriction is that he
    will not be able to concentrate properly.
    It is a disgrace to start davening when
    One knows that he cannot concentrate.
    Therefore, one who does so has davened
    a tefillah which is an abomination.
    Different Stages
    There are different levels of inebriation
    that are addressed by these halachos. To
    make it simpler, we will divide it into a
    few groups.
    Stage one:
    If one drank less than a revi’is, or more
    than a revi’is of wine or other intoxicating
    beverages during a meal, and has a clear
    mind, he may daven l’chatchilah and of
    course say brachos, etc.
    Stage two:
    One who drank more than a revi’is of
    wine or other intoxicating beverages, or
    he drank during a meal and his mind is not
    clear. However, he can speak clearly. The
    following applies:
    He may not daven or recite Krias Shema

    and birchos Krias Shema
    until he sobers up.
    Other parts of davening
    are permitted, such
    as Baruch She’amar,
    Yishtabach etc. Even if
    one is used to drinking a
    lot and drinking a revi’is
    (or more) does nothing
    to him, he still may not
    One who drank the
    above amount can still
    daven if waiting will
    cause him to miss the
    proper time for davening
    (zman tefillah).
    However, if one drank a revi’is and knows
    that his mind is clear then he would be
    able to daven.
    Stage three:
    If one drinks to the point that he cannot
    talk properly in front of a king or walk
    straight, he is forbidden to daven (or say
    Krias Shema and its brachos) even if the
    time frame for davening will pass. There
    are those who maintain that he may not be
    counted toward a minyan, while others
    are lenient with this. If he did daven
    then his tefillah is an abomination.
    One is allowed to say birchas hamazon
    while he is drunk. It is preferable that
    someone in this stage not say other
    brachos as well, but if he did recite
    them he was yotzei.
    Stage four:
    The Rema adds that if one is slightly
    drunk, and although he cannot talk
    straight does know that he can say
    the words in a siddur, he may daven.
    However, the overwhelming custom is
    not to permit this.
    Stage five:
    One who drinks so much that he has no
    idea what he is doing may not daven,
    nor recite brachos. If he did daven or
    recite a brachah it was not valid.
    Grape Juice
    The entire discussion in this article
    applies to intoxicating beverages.
    However, one may drink as much grape
    juice as he wishes and there would be
    no issue of davening afterwards.
    Kiddush on Shabbos
    One who makes Kiddush on Shabbos
    or Yom Tov with wine and drinks the
    shiur of revi’is may still daven Mussaf,
    since his mind is clear and he eats a

    mezonos. Another option would be to
    drink less than a revi’is or make Kiddush
    on grape juice.
    How to Calculate When Wine Wears
    The Shulchan Aruch says that if one drank
    a revi’is, then walking a mil (about 18
    minutes) and sleep make the wine wear
    off. However, if one drank more, then
    sleeping a little and walking do not help
    unless he walks three mil (54 minutes) on
    foot, as opposed to riding in a car. Others
    say that this calculation is difficult to
    put into practice. Therefore, one should
    simply evaluate as to whether the alcohol
    still affects him. If one is drunk, this
    may be hard, and he will need a friend to
    evaluate for him.
    Yom Tov and Purim
    One of the most common times to drink
    wine is on Yom Tov and Purim. The
    poskim discuss this and say that Yom Tov
    and Purim are times when it is a mitzvah
    to be happy and drink. On these days,
    some opine that one does not have to wait
    until the wine wears off in order to daven.
    (This is referring to a situation where he
    drank but can speak before a king.