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BAC Level Observations Chart

This chart shows how a drinker’s behavior may change as BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) levels increase. Remember, these are general guidelines, but will vary from person to person.

BAC Level % Change in Drinker’s Behavior
0.01 – 0.02 The drinker feels relaxed, with a minor impairment of judgment and memory. Usually no apparent changes in behavior are noted.
0.03 – 0.04 There is some loss of judgment and efficiency. Alertness is decreased. Small behavioral changes begin to be noticed.
0.05 – 0.06 Inhibitions are lowered. Decision-making skills are affected. the drinker begins to have less control over actions and emotions.
0.07 – 0.08 Walking, talking and balance are visibly affected. The drinker’s ability to react is notably slower.
A BAC of 0.08% is considered legally intoxicated in some states, including New Jersey.
0.09 – 0.10 Vision, judgment, speech and reaction times are all severely affected. loss of balance is common.
A BAC of 0.10% is considered legally intoxicated in some states.
0.11 – 0.15 Judgment, memory, and self control are further affected. Irresponsible behavior and exaggerated mood swings are evident. There is a decrease in the drinker’s ability to sense pain.
0.16 – 0.19 The drinker’s behavior and speech are greatly affected. There is a lack of motor control, mental confusion, and severe mood swings. The drinker is unable to perform ordinary tasks.
0.20 – 0.30 The drinker is in a confused state. Unconsciousness may occur. All physical and mental abilities are severely impaired. The central nervous system is acutely depressed.
Above 0.30 The drinker is unconscious, with an irregular heart beat and breathing pattern. Coma or death are possible as a result of acute alcohol poisoning.