Show & Tell

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Affect on Motor Skills
"How Many Drinks Did They Have?" Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Estimator
Binge Drinking
Milwaukee, not Vegas, America's drunkest city
Americans Drinking Alcohol More Often
Should You Drink?
What is an Alcohol Problem?
Learn About Alcohol and Health
Tips for Teens: The Truth About Alcohol
Texas Cops Find Drunks in Bars
The Cost of Alcohol on Society

"How Many Drinks Did They Have?" Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Estimator

Okay, so Joe Superstar gets pulled over for a DUI and blows a .22% on the breathalyzer. What exactly does that mean? Is there any way to tell if they had just one drink or a whole keg? The chart below gives you an estimated percent of alcohol in the blood by number of drinks in relation to body weight. This percent can be estimated by:

Locate the perpetrator's estimated body weight in the first column on the left.

Follow across to the left until you find the BAC the cops say they blew.

Follow that column back up to the top row to see how many drinks they would have had to consume in an hour to achieve that BAC. (Remember: 1 drink equals 1 ounce of 100-proof liquor, one five ounce glass of table wine or one 12-ounce bottle of regular beer)

And you're done! Wasn't that fun?

NOTE: "How Many Drinks Did They Have?" BAC Estimator is for entertainment purposes only. Your BAC may vary.

Number of Drinks
Body Weight






























Source: NHTSA chart with modifications Red Boxes: over the legal limit of .08, common in many states.


Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Affect on Motor Skills

  • At .020 light to moderate drinkers begin to feel some effects.
  • At .040 most people begin to feel relaxed.
  • At .060 judgment is somewhat impaired, people are less able to make rational decisions about their capabilities (eg. driving).
  • At .080 there is a definite impairment of muscle coordination and driving skills; this is legal level for intoxication in some states.
  • At .10 there is a clear deterioration of reaction time and control; this is legally drunk in most states.
  • At .120 vomiting usually occurs. Unless this level is reached slowly or a person has developed a tolerance to alcohol.
  • At .150 balance and movement are impaired. This blood-alcohol level means the equivalent of 1/2 pint of whiskey is circulating in the blood stream.
  • At .300 many people lose consciousness.
  • At .400 most people lose consciousness; some die.
  • At .450 breathing stops; this is a fatal dose for most people

Source: SpeedImpact.org

Americans Drinking Alcohol More Often

Americans are drinking alcohol more often, and beer is back on top as the beverage of choice, according to a new Gallup Poll.

Although the number of Americans who drink alcohol is holding steady, the poll shows those who drink are imbibing more frequently and drinking more drinks each week compared with a decade ago.

Drinkers are also now slightly more likely to name beer as their alcoholic beverage of choice, which researchers say is a return to the pattern seen before last year's poll when beer and wine tied for the top drink.

The poll, conducted July 6-9 among a national sample of 1,007 people aged 18 and older, showed 64% of Americans say they drink alcoholic beverages.

Researchers say the percentage of Americans who say they drink has changed little over time, averaging about 63% since Gallup began surveying Americans about drinking habits in 1939.

However, the most recent poll shows the frequency of drinking has risen over the last 10 years. The 2006 poll showed 71% of American drinkers said they had an alcoholic drink in the last week, which is significantly higher than the 54% who said the same in 1996.

Also on the rise is the number of drinks Americans are drinking. The poll shows those who drink alcohol report drinking an average of 4.5 drinks per week, compared with 2.8 in 1996.

Recent studies have suggested that drinking alcohol in moderation -- particularly wine -- may promote better health, and researchers say the increase in number of drinks per week may be a reflection of this.

The percentage of drinkers who named wine as their drink of choice has increased steadily from 27% in 1992 to a peak of 39% last year, when it narrowly topped beer in popularity. But beer was the winner in this year's poll with 41% of Americans naming it their drink of choice compared with 33% opting for wine and 23% choosing liquor.

Who's Drinking and Who's Not: Other findings of the survey include:

  • Drinking is less common among lower-income households; 82% of Americans who live in upper-income households (annual incomes of $75,000 or more) say they drink compared with 44% of those with incomes less than $30,000.
  • Senior citizens (over age 65) were less likely to drink than Americans in other age groups.
  • Fewer than half of those who report a strong commitment to their faith said they drink; 48% of weekly churchgoers say they drink alcohol compared with 69% of those who attend religious services less frequently and 72% of those who seldom or never attend.

Source: By Jennifer Warner , Gallup Organization, Consumption Habits Poll, conducted July 6-9, 2006. www.webmd.com/content/Article/125/116113.htm?printing=true

Should You Drink?

One drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or one standard cocktail (1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor).

You should be aware that it is not safe to drink any alcohol in some situations, and that some people should not drink at all:

• People who cannot restrict their drinking to moderate levels . This is a special concern for recovering alcoholics, problem drinkers and people whose family members have alcohol problems.

• People with certain medical conditions or who are taking certain medications that interact with alcohol

• Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant

• Drinking before driving or operating machinery

• People under the age of twenty-one. Drinking alcohol is unsafe for children and adolescents, and illegal in the United States for this age group.

Recommended Action:

Learn more about the effects of alcohol on health, safe vs. risky drinking, and when you should not drink at all.

Learn more about alcohol and health

Find help and support

Source: www.alcoholscreening.org

What is an Alcohol Problem?

Researchers use the term "alcohol problems" to refer to any type of condition caused by drinking which harms the drinker directly, jeopardizes the drinker's well-being, or places others at risk. Depending on the circumstances, alcohol problems can result from even moderate drinking, for example when driving, during pregnancy, or when taking certain medicines. Alcohol problems exist on a continuum of severity ranging from occasional binge drinking to alcohol abuse or dependence (alcoholism).

Is There a Difference?

The term alcoholism usually refers to alcohol abuse or dependence. Alcohol dependence is the most severe alcohol problem and typically consists of at least three of seven symptoms experienced within one year. These symptoms include repeated unsuccessful attempts to stop or cut down, need for increased amounts of alcohol (tolerance), or symptoms of withdrawal upon cessation of drinking (physical dependence). Many other types of alcohol problems do not entail alcohol dependence but are nevertheless harmful in their effect on a person's job, health, and relationships. Also, alcohol problems of lesser severity can often progress to alcoholism if untreated.

The most common alcohol problems include:

Binge Drinking. Binge drinking is the type of problem drinking most often engaged in by young people in the 18- to 21-year-old age range. Within this age group binge drinking is more prevalent among college students than non-students. Researchers often define binge drinking as the consumption of five or more drinks at one sitting for males and three or more drinks at one sitting for females. Binge drinkers on college campuses are more likely to damage property, have trouble with authorities, miss classes, have hangovers, and experience injuries than those who do not. Students living on campuses with high rates of binge drinking experience more incidents of assault and unwanted sexual advances than students on campuses with lower binge drinking rates.

Alcohol Abuse. Alcohol abuse often results in absence from, and impaired performance at, school and on the job, neglect of child care or household responsibilities, legal difficulties and alcohol consumption in physically dangerous circumstances such as while driving. Individuals who abuse alcohol may continue to drink despite the knowledge that their drinking causes them recurrent and significant social, interpersonal, or legal problems.

Alcohol Dependence. Alcohol dependence is a chronic and often progressive disease that includes a strong need to drink despite repeated social or interpersonal problems such as losing a job or deteriorating relationships with friends and family members. Alcohol dependence has a generally predictable course, recognizable symptoms, and is influenced by a complex interplay of genes, psychological factors such as the influence of family members and friends, and the effect of culture on drinking behavior and attitudes. Scientists are increasingly able to define and understand both the genetic and environmental factors that make an individual vulnerable to alcoholism.

This information was compiled by Screening for Mental Health from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Source: alcoholscreening.org/learnmore/problem.asp

Learn About Alcohol and Health

Browse this library of publications about alcohol and health from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Alcohol consumption guidelines
How to cut down on your drinking
Frequently asked questions about alcohol
Health consequences of excess drinking
What is an alcohol problem?
Alcohol abuse and alcoholism
Drinking and pregnancy
Alcohol: Tips for Teens
If someone close has a problem

Source: alcoholscreening.org/learnmore/index.asp

Texas Cops Find Drunks in Bars

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is enforcing the state's law against public intoxication in a novel venue: bars.
Source: www.jointogether.org/news/headlines/inthenews/2006/texas-cops-find-drunks-in.html

 "Why don't you drive? You're to drunk to sing."

Think about it!

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