How are alcohol levels in the body measured?
In such situations, the driver’s BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration)is measured with a special tool called a breathalyzer. One’s BAC is a measurement of the amount of alcohol in one’s bloodstream or on ones breath. As a general rule, the higher one’s BAC, the more alcohol they have consumed. The more alcohol consumed, the more intoxicated the driver becomes. A BAC test measures the amount of alcohol, in grams, in 100 milliliters of one’s blood or 210 liters of one’s breath.
Is there a legal limit for one’s BAC?
All states define a BAC of over .08 percent as a crime, but severity of penalties may vary by state. Even if the driver does not consider themselves to be drunk, they are still an offender in the yes of the law and can be prosecuted.
Blood alcohol level effects by amount
Although one’s BAC is generally the most reliable way to estimate one’s level of intoxication, it is not spot on for every single person. A person’s intoxication levels can be affected by factors such their gender, height and weight, genetics, alcohol tolerance, and potentiating effects of medications and/or drugs.
Stage 1: 0.020-0.039%
At this level, the person becomes less shy than normal. They also feel a mild euphoria and/or feelings of comfort and relaxation. There may also be a faint sensation of light headedness.
Stage 2: 0.040-0.059%
Similar blood alcohol level effects to stage one, but more intense. Inhibitions are lowered and one’s judgement and caution are reduced. Memory and reasoning also begin to deteriorate.
Stage 3: 0.06-0.099%
Physical effects begin to intensify. The drinker may feel a slight loss of balance and may start to experience motor function impairment. Speech and vision are impaired. The drink feels a strong sense of euphoria. Reasoning and memory are further impaired.
Stage 4: 0.100-0.129%
The drinker’s speech is slurred, motor functions significantly impaired. All good judgement deteriorates. Their vision blurs, their peripheral vision is reduced, and their reaction time is lowered. Hearing is also impaired.
Stage 5: 0.130-0.159%
Euphoria begins to dissipate and is replaced by its opposite, dysphoria, a general feeling of feeling unwell. The drinker has difficultly walking without losing balance and speaking properly.
Stage 6: 0.160-0.199%
All feelings of euphoria are gone at this point, and the drinker may begin to feel nauseous and unwell.
Stage 7: 0.200-0.249%
A complete state of mental unawareness and confusion. The drinker may need assistance moving. Dysphoria and nausea predominate, and the drinker may vomit and even blackout.
Stage 8: 0.250-0.399%
When one’s BAC reaches this point, they have alcohol poisoning. They also may lose consciousness.
Stage 9: 0.40% and up
The drinker may enter a coma in sleep, possibly dying later due to respiratory arrest from the depressant effects of alcohol.