What Happens at Various Levels of Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)?

Compiled by Jon Weeldreyer, MA, CAAC

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Jon Weeldreyer, MA, CAAC, is a limited license psychologist and certified advanced addiction counselor working at the Pine Rest Kalamazoo and Portage Clinics. Jon also serves as Manager of both clinics and has provided outpatient services for Pine Rest since 2001.

Blood alcohol content is usually expressed as a percentage of alcohol (generally in the sense of ethanol) in the blood. For instance, a BAC of 0.10 means that 0.10% (one tenth of one percent) of a person’s blood, by volume is alcohol.

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NOTE: Many factors influence how many drinks it takes to reach a particular BAC, including age, gender, rate of consumption, drink strength, body type, fat/muscle content, metabolism, hydration, emotional state, medication you are taking, food you’ve consumed, carbonation of drinks, alcohol tolerance and overall health.

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