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Stages of Alcohol Intoxication

Stages of Alcohol Intoxication

Blood Alcohol ConcentrationStageClinical symptoms
0.01 – 0.05SubclinicalBehavior nearly normal by ordinary observation
0.03 – 0.12EuphoriaMild euphoria, sociability, talkativeness
Increased self-confidence; decreased inhibitions
Diminution of attention, judgment and control
Beginning of sensory-motor impairment
Loss of efficiency in finer performance tests
0.09 – 0.25ExcitementEmotional instability; loss of critical judgment
Impairment of perception, memory and comprehension
Decreased sensatory response; increased reaction time
Reduced visual acuity; peripheral vision and glare recovery
Sensory-motor incoordination; impaired balance
Drowsiness
0.18 – 0.30ConfusionDisorientation, mental confusion; dizziness
Exaggerated emotional states
Disturbances of vision and of perception of color, form, motion and dimensions
Increased pain threshold
Increased muscular incoordination; staggering gait; slurred speech
Apathy, lethargy
0.25 – 0.40StuporGeneral inertia; approaching loss of motor functions
Markedly decreased response to stimuli
Marked muscular incoordination; inability to stand or walk
Vomiting; incontinence
Impaired consciousness; sleep or stupor
0.35 – 0.50ComaComplete unconsciousness
Depressed or abolished reflexes
Subnormal body temperature
Incontinence
Impairment of circulation and respiration
Possible death
0.45 +DeathDeath from respiratory arrest

This table titled “Stages of alcohol intoxication” is from K.M. Dubowski, one of the leading experts on the medical legal aspects of alcohol use in the United States.

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