Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) refers to the percent of alcohol (ethyl alcohol or ethanol) in a person's blood stream. A BAC of .10% means that an individual's blood supply contains one part alcohol for every 1000 parts blood.
In California, a person is legally intoxicated if he/she has a BAC of .08% or higher.
For more information about alcohol metabolism, check out our alcohol metabolism page.
|BAC||Physical and Mental Effects|
|.01 - .03||No apparent effects. Slight mood elevation. In California, you will test as legally impaired at .01% BAC if you are under 21. It is illegal to drive or bike at this level.|
|.04 - .06||Feeling of relaxation. Sensation of warmth. Minor impairment of reasoning and memory.|
|.07 - .09||Mild impairment of balance, speech, vision and control. In California, you will test as legally impaired at .08% BAC if you are over 21. It is illegal to drive or bike at this level.|
|.10 - .12||Significant impairment of motor coordination and loss of judgment. Speech may be slurred.|
|.13 - .15||Gross impairment of motor control. Blurred vision and major loss of balance. Onset of dysphoria (anxiety, restlessness).|
|.16 - .20||Dysphoria predominates. Nausea may appear. Drinker has the appearance of “sloppy drunk.”|
|.25 - .30||Severe intoxication. Needs assistance walking. Mental confusion. Dysphoria with nausea and some vomiting.|
|.35 - .40||Loss of consciousness. Brink of coma.|
|.40 and up||Onset of coma. Likelihood of death due to respiratory failure.|