General Question

simone54's avatar

Is drunkenness related to Blood Alcohol Level equally?

Asked by simone54 (7560 points ) January 8th, 2013

Obviously different people can get to different degrees of drunkenness by consuming different amounts of alcohol. My question: is a person’s BAL relative to his/her behavior. For example, Mark is a lightweight, he had two beers but he is slurring his speech and he is stumbling when he tries to walk. Mike, had three shots and and six pack, he is also slurring his speech and stumbling (equally as much as Mark). Is it likely that have an equal BAL?

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9 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

No, you can build up a tolerance for alcohol. I know someone that would be falling down drunk at .04 BAC.

I know another that acts and looks clear headed after his 2 liters of vodka a day since he got home from Vietnam. I don’t think he has had a BAC under 1.0 in 30 years.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I can say from personal experience that they are not really related.

When I was 15, I started going out to night clubs, where I started drinking. At first it would take a beer or two for me to feel the effect. Eventually it got that it would take me several beers to feel anything.

One day I over did it, has 16 pints of the stuff, and ended up having my stomach pumped. Since then, all it takes is a few sips and I get wasted, hence why I don’t drink, or at least avoid it as much as I can.

gasman's avatar

Chronic alcoholics are known to walk into emergency rooms with BACs in the 600–800 range – enough to render a light drinker comatose.

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LuckyGuy's avatar

No. It varies with age, tolerance, medication, food consumption, body type.
Borrow a blood alcohol tester and try some experiments in the comfort of your own home. I own a small hand held breathalyzer and have learned a lot by playing with it. For me, 0.02 is too dangerous to drive. I can detect that my eyes are not as quick. I can’t imagine how anyone can even find their car at 0.08.
I am not a big alcohol drinker.

BhacSsylan's avatar

@gasman 600–800? Are we using the same scale? Because in the scale I’m use to, that would mean one’s blood has been replaced by 6–8x the volume in alcohol.

Anyway, no, not at all. As mentioned, it’s a tolerance thing that depends on your system and a whole lot of different factors thereof. BAC is purely the % of alcohol in your blood, and while one may have more or less efficient means of removing alcohol from one’s system, how much a particular % affects your nervous system depends on other factors.

gasman's avatar

@BhacSsylan The usual units: Volume percent or grams/deciliter. So “600” = 0.600% means 6/10 of 1% or 600 milligrams per deciliter, which is 7.5 times the legal driving level of 0.08. The heightened tolerance of the nervous system is amazing – in these very sad cases.

BhacSsylan's avatar

Okay, I’m used to the raw % scale. I figured it was probably .6 – .8, since 6 – 8 they’d be very dead and .06 – .08 isn’t comatose high. Just checking.

Blondesjon's avatar

Only when the courts are involved.

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