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The Stages of Intoxication

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. 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. 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. 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Emotions run high – aggressive, withdrawn, overy affectionate.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. 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. 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. Death (BAC more than .50)
Breathing is halted and the person dies.