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Effects of Alcohol Based on Specific Blood Alcohol Content Levels

Because the effects of alcohol on one person may not be the same for another person, some users may become impaired or intoxicated at a higher or lower level than indicate below. However, the following is a list of the effects alcohol can have on the average person’s reactions, judgment, motor skills, reasoning, sense of …

Because the effects of alcohol on one person may not be the same for another person, some users may become impaired or intoxicated at a higher or lower level than indicate below. However, the following is a list of the effects alcohol can have on the average person’s reactions, judgment, motor skills, reasoning, sense of caution, and other faculties necessary to operate a motor vehicle. Again, different people react to alcohol in different ways, so you shouldn’t base your decision to drive or not drive solely on these figures.

0.02 – 0.03 BAC: Loss of shyness, slight feeling of euphoria and no loss of coordination. The person may feel mildly relaxed and possibly a little lightheaded.

0.04 – 0.06 BAC: The person may enjoy feelings of relaxation, euphoria, well-being and lower inhibitions. There may be some minor impairment of memory and reasoning and a lowering of caution. The person’s emotions may become intensified and behavior may become exaggerated.

0.07 – 0.09 BAC: The person may experience a slight impairment in vision, balance, speech, hearing and reaction time. Reason, caution and memory will be impaired, and judgment and self-control reduced. In Oklahoma, where the legal BAC limit is 0.08%, you would be considered intoxicated at this point.

0.10 – 0.125 BAC: The person will experience a loss of good judgment and an impairment of motor coordination. Vision, balance, hearing and reaction time will become impaired, and speech may be slurred. In all states, it is illegal to get behind the wheel of a car at this level of intoxication.

0.13 – 0.15 BAC: The person will experience a lack of physical control and an impairment of gross motor skills. The feeling of euphoria will be reduced, and dysphoria (an emotional state of depression, anxiety or unease) will begin to appear. Perception and judgment will be severely impaired.

0.16 – 0.19 BAC: Dysphoria will become the dominant emotion, the person may experience nausea and will appear “sloppy drunk.”

0.20 BAC: Disorientation and a feeling of being dazed and confused predominates. The person may need assistance standing and walking and may not feel pain if injured. Some people experience nausea and vomiting at this level of intoxication. Blackouts are likely and the person may not remember what has happened.

0.25 BAC: All physical, mental and sensory functions are severely impaired. The person has an increased risk of asphyxiation caused by choking on vomit, and of being seriously injured in falls or other accidents.

0.30 BAC: The person will be in a drunken stupor. He or she will have little comprehension of location and may pass out suddenly and be difficult to awaken.

0.35 BAC: This level of intoxication is equivalent to surgical anesthesia. At this stage, a coma is possible.

0.40 BAC and up: The person may slip into a coma and may die due to respiratory arrest.

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