Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

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Blood alcohol content is also known as blood alcohol level. It is most common used metric to determine any kind of alcohol intoxication in a human body majorly for legal purposes and medical procedures. Sometimes, a variant known as blood alcohol concentration might be used to describe the content of alcohol in blood.

Blood alcohol level


Normally, an expression in percentage of alcohol is used to express the content. Different countries have different variants for this. For example, in North America, a 0.1% BAC means that 0.10 gm. of alcohol is present in every 1 dL of blood.

Progression of effects of alcohol in blood

  • Up to0.02 BAC: – An average person might appear normal to everyone. Some effects might be detectable with some special type of tests.
  • Up to0.059 BAC: – A bit of mild euphoria might be experienced with relaxed feeling and a feeling of joy. Person might be more talkative, and his inhibition might be decreased. Ability to concentrate is impaired.
  • Up to 0.09 BAC: – blunting of feelings might occur along with the presence of disinhibiting and being extrovert. Ability of reason, perceptions regarding depth, the visions of periphery are heavily impaired.
  • Up to 0.19 BAC: – Over expression of emotions, swings in emotions, sadness and anger and decrease in libido occur. Some of the reflexes, the reaction time of the body, an overall motor control are impaired. Staggering of speech and slurring of speech might also present along with temporary erectile dysfunction.
  • From 0.2 – 0.29: – Stupor with an understanding loss occurs. Sensations might be impaired, and the person may fall unconsciously. Motor impairment is severe, and consciousness is lost. Sometimes blackouts of memory also occur.
  • From 0.3 – 0.39: – The depression of central nervous system is severe. The person is unconscious, and there is a possibility that the person may die. Bladder functioning, normal breathing and heart rate are impaired.
  • From 0.4 – 0.50: – Possible death still remains, a lack of behaviors and unconsciousness if the person remains. Breathing is impaired along with a diminished and impaired heart rate.
  • More than 0.5: – There is a severe risk of alcohol poisoning. Possibility of a person dying still remains as the highest risk.

The legal limitations

For some purposes or to impose law on people, the alcohol in blood or BAC is used to measure and furthermore define intoxication and thus provides an estimated measure of function impairment. The amount of impairment is or might be variable from one person to another with a similar BAC content, measurements can be done in an objective manner and legally, it is useful but difficult in terms of contesting in the courts.

Since measurements are and must be of an accurate level and also inexpensive, many techniques of measurements are used as proxies to measure and approximate exact parts per 1 million. The amount of alcoholic drinks or beverages consumed in a number is very much and very often a poor way to measure the BAC as the persons vary in sex, weight and the amount of fat in the body