Blood Alcohol Level- How it Affects You

May 23rd, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Kerry 5-22The effects of drinking alcohol can slowly creep up on you. And many people don’t realize that just a couple of drinks can have a significant effect on reflexes and responses.

B.R.A.D. (Be Responsible about Drinking), an organization named after Bradley McCue who died of alcohol poisoning after celebrating his 21st birthday, provides a breakdown of the effects of specific blood alcohol levels (B.A.C.) on their website.

  • BAC of 0.02 – 0.03% (about two drinks):  No loss of coordination, slight euphoria and loss of shyness. There could be a slight loss of sense of judgment.
  • BAC of 0.04 – 0.06% (about three drinks):  Feeling of well-being, relaxation and lower inhibitions. There may be some minor impairment of reasoning and memory, lowering of caution. Inhibitions decrease and spontaneity becomes more common.
  • BAC of 0.07 – 0.09% (about four to five drinks):  Slight impairment of balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing. There are difficulties assessing dangers and rewards because of the brain’s lessening ability to pay attention to bad criticism. Person believes they are functioning better than they actually are.
  • BAC of 0.10 – 0.125% (about six drinks):  Begins to have problems maintaining balance. Aggressiveness also increases at this point. There is a significant impairment of motor coordination and loss of good judgment. Speech may be slurred; balance, vision, reaction time and hearing are impaired.
  • BAC of 0.13 – 0.15% (about seven drinks):  Gross motor impairment and lack of physical control. There is blurred vision and major loss of balance. Euphoria is reduced and dysphoria (anxiety, restlessness) begins. Judgment and perception are also severely impaired. Nausea and vomiting are often experienced at this point as the body attempts to expel the toxins from the alcohol.
  • BAC of .20% (about ten drinks):  Person feels dazed, confused or otherwise disoriented and may need help to stand or walk. At this point, blacking out may occur.  Memory is significantly altered, if not completely debilitated. The gag reflex is impaired and person can choke if they begin to vomit.
  • BAC of 0.25% (about 12 drinks):  All mental, physical and sensory functions are severely impaired. There is a significant increased risk of asphyxiation from choking on vomit and of seriously injuries from falls or accident.
  • BAC of 0.35% (about 18 drinks):  This level of impairment is comparable to the amount one would experience under surgical anesthesia. Coma is possible.
  • BAC of 0.40% (about 20 or more drinks):  Gag reflexes are blocked, so this is the stage in which people choke on their own vomit. The onset of coma and death due to respiratory arrest can occur.

If you have been arrested for drinking and driving, contact an experienced Chicago DUI defense attorney to represent you. A guilty conviction could mean loss of license, fines and possibly a prison sentence.

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