Blood alcohol content (BAC) is oftentimes used as a determining factor as to whether or not an individual is drunk or impaired. It is no secret that as someone consumes alcohol, the effects differ depending on how much they drink and the duration for which the person is drinking. The effects as your BAC rises are as follows.


At this stage you are not legally drunk. You will have no loss of coordination. Many believe that you feel mildly relaxed at this stage and any forms of shyness disappear. The individual may feel slightly light headed.


Many people think of this as the feeling good stage. There is a sensation of warmth coming over the body of the individual. There may be some minor impairment of self-control, reasoning, and memory. The affected person’s feelings may be intensified to extremes, and their motor skills will become slightly impaired.


At this stage the individual is considered to be drunk. It is illegal to be over 0.08 BAC and drive. The law considers you legally impaired. The individual’s reasoning and judgment become impaired. Oftentimes people will try to drive or operate a vehicle at this BAC because they believe that they are functioning much better and are more sober than they actually are. Reflexes and motor skills become impaired at this BAC.


The individual at this level of BAC is clearly intoxicated. They may suffer from slurred speech, loss of coordination, lack of balance, blurred vision, and more. Their memory may become foggy.


This person is very intoxicated. There will be a lack of physical control over motor skills and balance. Their perception is clearly impaired. Events may start becoming foggy. The individual may suffer from dysphoria, which is a form of anxiousness.


This individual is a “sloppy drunk.” They are difficult to deal with, irritable and has very intensified emotions.


A person who is this intoxicated may feel dazed and confused. They will be disoriented. Their motor skills are almost completely unreliable at this point and they will need help walking or standing. If injured, this person may not even feel the pain. Many people will experience vomiting at this level, and in addition may blackout and not remember the events that happen to them. Individual should be monitored because the gag reflex does not work properly when someone is this intoxicated and they could choke on vomit.


Very similar to an individual who blows a 0.20, but intensified. This person should not be left alone due to the risk of asphyxiation.


An individual this intoxicated may pass out or faint randomly and be very difficult to wake. They will have no comprehension of where they are or who is with them.


At this point the individual may slip into a coma. They are at the mental capacity as somebody who is under anesthesia.


This will more than likely result in a coma. The individual may face sudden death due to respiratory arrest.

The higher an individual’s BAC is, the less control they will have over their actions as well as their coordination and decision making. To ensure safety, it is smart to drink in moderation and be sure to eat and drink water while drinking. Even at a BAC under the legal limit, your abilities might get impaired. Keep this in mind before you get behind the wheel. For more information, you can contact my office.