Persistence of tolerance was measured seven days after a single ethanol injection (2.5 g/kg b.wt.) in the alcohol-preferring P line of rats with and without testing in a shock-motivated jump task during the initial ethanol exposure. P rats were trained to jump 50 cm to avoid shock and were assigned to one of three groups. On day 0, group E/J (n = 8) was injected with ethanol and tested on the jump task until recovery to criterion (37.5 cm), while group S/J (n = 21) was injected with saline and was tested yoked to an E/J rat. Rats in the E/NJ group (n = 19) received ethanol but were not tested on day 0. Seven days later, all rats received 2.5 g ethanol/kg and were tested to criterion. Recovery times on day 7 were significantly longer (p<0.05) for rats in the S/J group (169 ± 7 min) than for the E/J (141 ± 11 min) and E/NJ (145 ± 6 min) rats. Blood ethanol concentrations at recovery for the E/NJ group were higher than the S/J group on day 7 and higher than the E/J group on day 0 (p<0.05). The results indicate that the persistence of tolerance manifested by the P rats is an inherited behavioral trait that requires only ethanol exposure. © 1990.