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0.35 - 0.50ComaComplete unconsciousness
Depressed or abolished reflexes
Subnormal body temperature
Impairment of circulation and respiration
Possible death
0.45 +DeathDeath from respiratory arrest
Alcohol is absorbed from all parts of the gastrointestinal tract largely by simple diffusion into the blood. However the small intestine is by far the most efficient region of the gastrointestinal tract for alcohol absorption because of its very large surface area. In a fasting individual, it is generally agreed that 10% to 20% of a dose of alcohol is absorbed from the stomach (the volume of alcohol affects the absorption) and 75% to 80% is absorbed from the small intestine. Because of this peak blood alcohol concentrations are achieved in fasting people within 0.5 to 2.0 hours, (average 0.75 - 1.35 hours depending upon dose and time of last meal) while non-fasting people exhibit peak alcohol concentrations within 1.0, and in extreme cases up to as much as 4.0 hours (average 1.06 - 2.12 hours). Because it is distributed so quickly and thoroughly the alcohol can affect the central nervous system even in small concentrations. In low concentrations, alcohol reduces inhibitions. As blood alcohol concentration increases, a person's response to stimuli decreases markedly, speech becomes slurred, and he or she becomes unsteady and has trouble walking. With very high concentrations - greater than 0.35 grams/100 milliliters of blood (equivalent to 0.35 grams/210 liters of breath ) - a person can become comatose and die. The American Medical Association has defined the blood alcohol concentration level of impairment for all people to be 0.04 grams/100 milliliters of blood (equivalent to .04 grams/210 liters of breath). The following is a generally accepted guide to the effects of alcohol.

Alcohol has a high affinity for water and is therefore found in body tissues and fluids inasmuch as they contain water. Absorbed alcohol is rapidly carried throughout the body in the blood and once absorption of alcohol is complete an equilibrium occurs such that blood at all points in the system contains approximately the same concentration of alcohol. Elimination

The liver is responsible for the elimination - through metabolism - of 95% of ingested alcohol from the body. The remainder of the alcohol is eliminated through excretion of alcohol in breath, urine, sweat, feces, milk and saliva. The body uses several different metabolic pathways in its oxidation of alcohol to acetaldehyde to acetic acid to carbon dioxide and water. Healthy people metabolize alcohol at a fairly consistent rate. As a rule of thumb, a person will eliminate one average drink or .5 oz (15 ml) of alcohol per hour. Several factors influence this rate. The rate of elimination tends to be higher when the blood alcohol concentration in the body is very high. Also chronic alcoholics may (depending on liver health) metabolize alcohol at a significantly higher rate than the average. Finally, the body's ability to metabolize alcohol quickly tend to diminish with age. Body Weight and Body Type

In general, the less you weigh the more you will be affected by a given amount of alcohol. As detailed above, alcohol has a high affinity for water. Basically one's blood alcohol concentration is a function of the total amount of alcohol in one's system divided by total body water. So for two individuals with similar body compositions and different weights, the larger individual will achieve lower alcohol concentrations than the smaller one if ingesting the same amount of alcohol. However, for people of the same weight, a well muscled individual will be less affected than someone with a higher percentage of fat since fatty tissue does not contain very much water and will not absorb very much alcohol. Rate Of Consumption

Blood alcohol concentration depends on the amount of alcohol consumed and the rate at...
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