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The Stages of Intoxication

When an individual ingests alcohol, there are definite, visible changes in
his or her performance and behavior. An increase in a person’s blood alcohol
content (BAC) can be tracked in five stages:

  1. 1. Euphoria (BAC = .10)
    • The person becomes more confident and daring.
    • They have trouble paying attention.
    • They have more color in their face.
    • They lack good judgement, acting on impulse.
    • They find tasks requiring fine motor control difficult.
  2. 2. Excitement (BAC .20)
    • The person may become sleepy.
    • Their short term memory is impaired.
    • Their reaction time is greatly reduced.
    • Their gross motor skills are uncoordinated.
    • They have trouble maintaining their balance.
    • Vision becomes blurry.
    • Their senses become dull (hearing, tasting, touch, etc.)
  3. 3. Confusion (BAC .30)
    • The person might not know where they are or what they are doing.
    • Walking may be difficult.
    • Emotions run high – aggressive, withdrawn, overy affectionate.
    • Vision is very blurry.
    • They are very sleepy.
    • The sensation of pain is dulled.
  4. 4. Stupor (BAC .40)
    • The person can barely move.
    • They do not respond to external stimuli.
    • Walking or standing is impossible.
    • They may vomit repeatedly.
    • They may become unconscious.
  5. 5. Coma (BAC .50)
    • The person is unconscious.
    • Pupils are unresponsive to light.
    • Body temperature is lower than normal.
    • Breathing is shallow.
    • Pulse rate is slow.
    • Death may occure.
  6. 6. Death (BAC more than .50)
    • Breathing is halted and the person dies.