What's in a blood alcohol level?
October 26th, 2011
05:50 PM ET

What's in a blood alcohol level?

The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday recommended the legal limit for driving drunk be lowered from .08 blood-alcohol content to .05 in an effort to reduce alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, which kill about 10,000 people a year.

Your blood-alcohol level can vary depending on your age, weight, previous alcohol and drug experience and the type of alcohol being consumed.

"You can drink alcohol faster than you can remove it from your body and that's when your blood-alcohol level goes up," says Robert Pandina, Ph.D., and the director of the Center for Alcohol Studies at Rutgers University.

According to the Mayo Clinic, it takes the body roughly one hour to metabolize a single drink but the definition of what constitutes a drink changes depending on the alcohol. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.

"If you keep drinking alcohol, it's not going to get metabolized any faster just because you've consumed more of it," explains Pandina. "Metabolism happens at a fixed rate until all the alcohol is processed."

Pandina calculates that a woman weighing approximately 110 pounds would have to drink between 12 and 13 ounces of 80-proof liquor in an hour to reach a blood-alcohol level of 0.40.

"It's still a lot but it's far less than people may imagine," says Pandina.

A person may need medical attention with a blood-alcohol level under 0.2. Vital functions may start to shut down before someone reaches 0.25. Death is possible with a blood-alcohol level of 0.3. And that's without prior liver damage from previous alcohol or drug use. A person with a damaged liver is at higher risk for catastrophic or fatal alcohol poisoning because his or her  liver cannot effectively metabolize the alcohol.

"The message is very simply when you know someone has been drinking and drinking heavily, don't wait," says Pandina. "It's quite possible to revive individuals even at very high alcohol levels and keep them from having catastrophic effects."

soundoff (1,600 Responses)
  1. windshield repair around me


    May 15, 2021 at 08:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. rekey Palo Alto

    Great article. Couldn't be write much better! Keep it up!


    May 15, 2021 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Eye Doctors Of Arizona

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to revisit yet again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.


    May 15, 2021 at 09:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. windshield repair fullerton


    May 15, 2021 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RebfZisse

    discount super active cialis https://rcialisgl.com/ genericcialis

    May 15, 2021 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. HVAC Installation Warrenton VA

    nice information for a new blogger. it is really helpful


    May 15, 2021 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Roof Repair Raleigh

    this is very informative and intersting for those who are interested in blogging field.


    May 15, 2021 at 10:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Fence company Baton Rouge LA

    such a great information for blogger i am a professional blogger thanks


    May 15, 2021 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Carpet Cleaning Spokane

    very nice! Ireally like your blog


    May 15, 2021 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. commercial roofing Hainesport

    I'm not sure where you are getting your information, but great topic.


    May 15, 2021 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Radon Lexington

    Commenting on a blog is an art. Good comments create relations. You're doing great work. Keep it up.


    May 15, 2021 at 12:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Flooring Contractor Pittsburgh PA

    Usually I never comment on blogs but your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You're doing a great job Man,Keep it up.

    May 15, 2021 at 12:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Locksmith Palo Alto

    very interesting , good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog.


    May 15, 2021 at 13:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 24 hour locksmith St. Louis

    thanks for sharing!


    May 15, 2021 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. houses for sale nearby

    Good article! We are linking to this great post on our site. Keep up the good writing.


    May 15, 2021 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. paint shops around me


    May 15, 2021 at 13:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. ac repair San Tan Valley AZ

    Impressive! Thanks for the post


    May 15, 2021 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. homes for sale dalton gardens id


    May 15, 2021 at 14:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Maserati Khamsin


    May 15, 2021 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Seo Marketing Orange County

    I seriously love your blog.. Great colors & theme. Did you build this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my own website and would like to learn where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Thank you!


    May 15, 2021 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Maserati Blue


    May 15, 2021 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Maserati Granturismo Lease

    I used to be able to find good advice from your articles.


    May 15, 2021 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Seo Marketing Agency

    You made some really good points there. I checked on the web for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.


    May 15, 2021 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. LbsoZisse

    cialis for daily use cost https://ucialisdas.com/ – viagra vs cialis buy generic cialis

    May 15, 2021 at 23:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Digital Marketing Specialists


    May 16, 2021 at 01:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Persona Aika

    Howdy! This blog post could not be written much better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I most certainly will send this information to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 16, 2021 at 01:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Content Marketing Programs


    May 16, 2021 at 02:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. aika online review

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to revisit once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.


    May 16, 2021 at 05:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Content Marketing Consultants


    May 16, 2021 at 07:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. 2006 Sprinter Fuel Pump Repair


    May 16, 2021 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. semi shop near me


    May 16, 2021 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Mercedes Sprinter Cowl Panel Rust Repair


    May 16, 2021 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Mercedes Sprinter Body Repair

    Aw, this was an extremely good post. Spending some time and actual effort to produce a top notch article… but what can I say… I put things off a whole lot and don't seem to get anything done.


    May 16, 2021 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Sprinter Heater Valve Repair


    May 16, 2021 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Juliette Wadley

    I don't know about you guys but I infatuated with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2011/02/photo-boeing-747-8-intercontinental-outside-at-paine-field/


    May 16, 2021 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. 2006 Sprinter 3500 Repair Near Me


    May 16, 2021 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Maserati Gran Cabrio Prices

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe this website needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the advice!


    May 16, 2021 at 17:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. LbsoZisse

    how much is a cialis https://ucialisdas.com/ – cialis super active plus reviews do i need prescription for cialis in usa

    May 16, 2021 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Pump Windshield Washer Sprinter Repair

    bookmarked!!, I like your web site!


    May 16, 2021 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Maserati Ghibli 2020

    Good day! I just wish to give you a huge thumbs up for your great information you've got right here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.


    May 16, 2021 at 19:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Wilbur Aldama

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs


    May 16, 2021 at 21:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Conversion Van Screen Repair

    Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this web site before but after going through some of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m certainly happy I came across it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back often!


    May 16, 2021 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Repair Sprinter Freightliner


    May 16, 2021 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Van Sliding Door Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 00:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Custom Maserati Granturismo


    May 17, 2021 at 01:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Repair Body Rust On Sprinter Van


    May 17, 2021 at 02:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Maserati Knoxville

    Good blog you've got here.. It’s difficult to find good quality writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    May 17, 2021 at 03:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Dodge Sprinter Repair Near Me


    May 17, 2021 at 03:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Service Locations

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It's the little changes that produce the largest changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 17, 2021 at 04:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. 2018 Maserati


    May 17, 2021 at 07:35 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

Leave a Reply to best italian restaurants in orlando


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.