Alcohol's EffectsAlcohol's Effects

If you have seen someone who has had too much to drink, you've probably noticed definite changes in that person's performance and behavior. The body responds to alcohol in stages, which correspond to an increase in BAC:

  1. Euphoria (BAC = 0.03 to 0.12 percent)
    arrowThey become more self-confident or daring.
    arrowTheir attention span shortens.
    arrowThey may look flushed.
    arrowTheir judgment is not as good - they may say the first thought that comes to mind, rather than an appropriate comment for the given situation.
    arrowThey have trouble with fine movements, such as writing or signing their name.
  2. Excitement (BAC = 0.09 to 0.25 percent)
    arrowThey become sleepy.
    arrowThey have trouble understanding or remembering things (even recent events).
    arrowThey do not react to situations as quickly (if they spill a drink they may just stare at it).
    arrowTheir body movements are uncoordinated.
    arrowThey begin to lose their balance easily.
    arrowTheir vision becomes blurry.
    arrowThey may have trouble sensing things (hearing, tasting, feeling, etc.).
  3. Confusion (BAC = 0.18 to 0.30 percent)
    arrowThey are confused -- might not know where they are or what they are doing.
    arrowThey are dizzy and may stagger.
    arrowThey may be highly emotional -- aggressive, withdrawn or overly affectionate.
    arrowThey cannot see clearly.
    arrowThey are sleepy.
    arrowThey have slurred speech.
    arrowThey have uncoordinated movements (trouble catching an object thrown to them).
    arrowThey may not feel pain as readily as a sober person.
  4. Stupor (BAC = 0.25 to 0.4 percent)
    arrowThey can barely move at all.
    arrowThey cannot respond to stimuli.
    arrowThey cannot stand or walk.
    arrowThey may vomit.
    arrowThey may lapse in and out of consciousness.
  5. Coma (BAC = 0.35 to 0.50 percent)
    arrowThey are unconscious.
    arrowTheir reflexes are depressed (i.e. their pupils do not respond appropriately to changes in light).
    arrowThey feel cool (lower-than-normal body temperature).
    arrowTheir breathing is slower and more shallow.
    arrowTheir heart rate may slow.
    arrowThey may die.
  6. Death (BAC more than 0.50 percent) - The person usually stops breathing and dies.

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