Blood alcohol level death is not an exact thing. It can happen at any point when response times are impaired. However, below are the levels of risk on average. BAC stands for blood alcohol content--and it can be lethal. Be responsible about drinking and driving. Know the facts.
We aren’t saying don’t have fun; just don’t be stupid. A weekend warrior’s binge can leave a deadly impact on your wallet and lives. How about getting a ride share? Or, designate a driver. The cost of a DUI runs over $10,000. (That taxi is cost effective.)
It only takes .08% blood alcohol content (BAC), or level, to be over the legal limit. That can be as little as one cocktail from a generous bartender or an end-of-day martini.
How much alcohol does it take?
- .40 BAC and above is likely death by alcohol poisoning
- As early as .20 BAC, your gag reflexes begin to fail and choking on vomit is a serious risk.
Drunker than you knew
A few facts that may make you a bad judge:
- A full stomach may slow the absorption of alcohol, but it doesn’t mean that alcohol cannot creep up on you.
- Coffee will not make you sober. Only time will. (Hangovers symptoms are something else.)
- Carbonated beverages have been found to cause quicker alcohol absorption.
- Stress can cause alcohol to enter your bloodstream faster.
- Women get drunk quicker than men, even at the same body weight.
It does't take a car to transform a fun night to a lethal one. Watch your limits. And, learn more US Drunk Driver Stats. Blood alcohol level death is only one of many consequences of drinking and driving.
Blood alcohol level effects
0.02-0.03 BAC: Feeling good. A little less inhibited, relaxed, and slightly euphoric. This low level may make an inexperienced drinker feel lightheaded. Blood alcohol content is low.
0.04-0.06 BAC: Under 21, you're DUI. You feel warm, more deeply relaxed, euphoric, more extroverted, and there’s an elevation in your sense of well-being. At the same time, your emotions and behavior are becoming more exaggerated. Caution begins to slip.
0.07-0.09 BAC (DUI): The first sense to go is hearing (this is why drunk people are loud.). At this level, you are beginning to be slightly impaired. Balance, vision, hearing, and speech are all affected. Reaction time slows. Most people believe they are fine at this level. Euphoria is high. Reason, memory, and self-control are low.
0.10-0.125 BAC: Say goodbye to good judgment, graceful coordination, and clear speech. Slurring may be evident and balance is compromised. You’re also likely to tell all your secrets and feelings. And people at this level seem energetic.
0.13-0.15 BAC: Things aren't fun. You are losing physical control and motor skills are becoming severely unskilled. This is the point where most people are stumbling and vision is blurry. OH, and the euphoria that made this fun is giving way to anxiety and restlessness. Perception and judgment are strongly impaired.
0.16-0.19 BAC: Sloppy drunk. This is where that moniker is indisputable. You don’t feel well, emotionally or physically. Nausea can occur.
(.20 BAC - Blood alcohol level death becomes more likely)
0.20 BAC: Emotional turmoil, confusion, blackouts, and vomit death. Want to choke on your own vomit? At .20 BAC, your gag reflexes are impaired. (Do not let drunk people fall asleep, especially on their back.) Anger, sadness, and big rides on an emotional roller coaster accompany vomiting.
This is the definition of dazed and confused. Help with simple things, like standing, walking, and holding things may be necessary. If you stumble and fall, you may not feel pain.
Blackouts are likely.
0.25 BAC: Bruises at best. Your body is pretty much not your own. In addition to blackout, risk of choking on your own vomit is increased. And falls and accidents are likely.
0.30 BAC: Total drunken stupor. It’s no longer just passing out. You are lapsing in and out of consciousness. Suddenly passing out and being unresponsive (unable to be awoken) is seriously possible. You will be entirely disoriented with little understanding of where you are. This is not yet certain blood alcohol level death, but it may be necessary to get someone to a hospital. Bladder function can fail. So can heart rate.
0.35 BAC: Reasonable coma risk. Ever wanted to undergo surgery without the costs? Being this drunk is like being under surgical anesthetic. And since surgery is a risk, imagine the risk of blood alcohol level death.
0.40+ BAC: Possible death. Your heart could stop. You may stop breathing. This is a coma level drunk. Blood alcohol level death is almost guaranteed.
Wanna know the toughest DUI laws in the United States?
It's not alcohol alone that can get you a DUI. Over the Counter Drugs Can Get a DUI. Even Cough Syrup.