Effects of Alcohol at Specific Blood Alcohol Levels (BAC)

The effects of alcohol are greatly influenced by individual factors; some people become intoxicated at much lower blood alcohol levels than others. In general however, the results below are usually a rough interpretation

0.02 — 0.03 BAC: No loss of coordination, slight euphoria and loss of shyness. Depressant effects are not apparent.

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.

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 (in most provinces and states .08 is legally impaired and it is illegal to drive at this level). At this level of impairment, the typical reaction time of a driver is doubled, from 1.5 seconds to 3.0 seconds. You are now 4 times more likely to be involved in an accident than if sober.

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. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle at this level of intoxication in all states and provinces. At this level of intoxication, you are 15 times more likely to be involved in an accident than if sober.

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* is beginning to appear.

0.16 — 0.19 BAC: Dysphoria predominates, nausea may appear. The drinker has the appearance of a “sloppy drunk.” At this level of intoxication, you are 30 times more likely to be involved in an accident than if sober.

0.20 BAC: Feeling dazed/confused or otherwise disoriented. May need help to stand/walk. If you injure yourself you may not feel the pain. Some people have nausea and vomiting at this level. The gag reflex 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 have little comprehension of where you are. You may pass out suddenly and be difficult to awaken.

0.35 BAC: Coma is possible. This is the level of surgical anesthesia.

0.40 BAC and up: Onset of coma, and possible death due to respiratory arrest.

Estimates are provided for educational purposes only. Do not drink and drive! Do not use these estimates as a basis for making a decision about drinking or driving.

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