Effects of Alcohol

According to the 2000 College Alcohol Survey, "Alcohol is involved with 30% of dropouts, 36% of academic failures, 60% of violent behaviors, 64% of unsafe sexual practices, and 70% of acquaintance rapes."

Effects at specific Blood Alcohol Concentration Levels:

The effects of alcohol intoxication are greatly influenced by individual variations among users.  Some users may become intoxicated at a much lower Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level than is shown.

  • 0.02-0.03 BAC:  No loss of coordination, slight euphoria, and loss of shyness.  Depressant effects are not apparent.  Mildly relaxed and may be a little lightheaded.
  • 0.04-0.06 BAC:  Feeling of well-being, relaxation, lower inhibitions, sensation of warmth.  Euphoria.  Some minor impairment of reasoning and memory, lowering of caution.  Your behavior may become exaggerated and emotions intensified.  (Good emotions are better, bad emotions are worse.)
  • 0.07-0.09 BAC:  Slight impairment of balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing.  Euphoria.  Judgment and self-control are reduced and caution, reason, and memory are impaired.  You will believe that you are functioning better than you really are.
  • 0.10-0.125 BAC:  Significant impairment of motor coordination and loss of good judgment.  Speech may be slurred; balance, vision, reaction time, and hearing will be impaired.  Euphoria.
  • 0.13-0.15 BAC:  Gross motor impairment and lack of physical control.  Blurred vision and major loss of balance.  Euphoria is reduced and dysphoria (anxiety, restlessness) is beginning to appear.  Judgment and perception are severely impaired. 
  • 0.16-0.19 BAC:  Dysphoria predominates, nausea may appear.  The drinker has the appearance of a "sloppy drunk."  First symptoms of alcohol poisoning begin to appear:  slow and/or irregular breathing, cold, clammy, pale or blue skin.
  • 0.20 BAC:  Feeling dazed, confused, or otherwise disoriented.  May need help to stand or walk.  If you injure yourself, you may not feel the pain.  Some people experience nausea and vomiting at this level.  The gag reflux is impaired and you can choke if you do vomit.  Blackouts are likely at this level so you may not remember what has happened.
  • 0.25 BAC:  All mental, physical, and sensory functions are severely impaired.  Increased risk of asphyxiation from choking on vomit and of seriously injuring yourself by falls or other accidents.
  • 0.30 BAC:  STUPOR.  You may have little comprehension of where you are.  You may pass out suddenly and be difficult to awaken.
  • 0.35 BAC:  Comma is possible.  This is the level of surgical anesthesia.
  • 0.40 BAC and up:  Onset of coma, and possible death due to respiratory arrest.

Women

 

Approximate Blood Alcohol Percentage

Drinks

Body Weight in Pounds

 

 

90

100

120

140

160

180

200

220

240

 

0

.00

.00

.00

.00

.00

.00

.00

.00

.00

Only Safe
Driving Limit

1

.05

.05

.04

.03

.03

.03

.02

.02

.02

Impairment
Begins

2

.10

.09

.08

.07

.06

.05

.05

.04

.04

Driving Skills
Significantly
Affected


Possible
Criminal
Penalties

3

.15

.14

.11

.10

.09

.08

.07

.06

.06

4

.20

.18

.15

.13

.11

.10

.09

.08

.08

5

.25

.23

.19

.16

.14

.13

.11

.10

.09

6

.30

.27

.23

.19

.17

.15

.14

.12

.11

Legally
Intoxicated


Criminal
Penalties

7

.35

.32

.27

.23

.20

.18

.16

.14

.13

8

.40

.36

.30

.26

.23

.20

.18

.17

.15

9

.45

.41

.34

.29

.26

.23

.20

.19

.17

10

.51

.45

.38

.32

.28

.25

.23

.21

.19

Subtract .01% for each 40 minutes of drinking.
One drink is 1.25 oz. of 80 proof liquor, 12 oz. of beer, or 5 oz. of table wine.

 

Men

 

Approximate Blood Alcohol Percentage

Drinks

Body Weight in Pounds

 

 

100

120

140

160

180

200

220

240

 

0

.00

.00

.00

.00

.00

.00

.00

.00

Only Safe
Driving Limit

1

.04

.03

.03

.02

.02

.02

.02

.02

Impairment
Begins

2

.08

.06

.05

.05

.04

.04

.03

.03

Driving
Skills
Significantly
Affected


Possible
Criminal
Penalties

3

.11

.09

.08

.07

.06

.06

.05

.05

4

.15

.12

.11

.09

.08

.08

.07

.06

5

.19

.16

.13

.12

.11

.09

.09

.08

6

.23

.19

.16

.14

.13

.11

.10

.09

7

.26

.22

.19

.16

.15

.13

.12

.11

Legally
Intoxicated


Criminal
Penalties

8

.30

.25

.21

.19

.17

.15

.14

.13

9

.34

.28

.24

.21

.19

.17

.15

.14

10

.38

.31

.27

.23

.21

.19

.17

.16

Subtract .01% for each 40 minutes of drinking.
One drink is 1.25 oz. of 80 proof liquor, 12 oz. of beer, or 5 oz. of table wine.

Nothing but time will sober you up!

STOP ALCOHOL POISONING!

  1. Get help!  Call a staff member, public safety, an ambulance.
  2. Do not leave the person alone.  Turn the victim on his/her side to prevent choking from vomiting.
  3. Do not let the victim "sleep it off."  Often BAC levels rise in response to alcohol already in the stomach.
  4. Do not exercise the person.
  5. Do not give the victim food, liquids, or medications to sober them up.
  6. Do not give the victim a cold shower.  This can cause shock and unconsciousness. 

If you need further information, please contact Psychological Counseling Services by telephone at (304) 788-6976 or simply stop by the office located on the base floor of the Health Center.