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stages of intoxication

The more you drink in a night, the more intoxicated you become.

The side effects at certain BAC ranges are relatively predictable and well-documented, and fall under the impairment categories of mild, moderate, significant, and severe.


Severe impairment can result in coma or death, so it’s incredibly important to understand how much alcohol you’re putting in your system.

The BAC Estimator will help you understand the effects you should expect to feel after a specified number of drinks over a defined period of time. This chart provides a summary of the effects at different stages.

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The Limit Finder will allow you to determine a safe drink limit so that you never pass into the scary BAC ranges of .12 and above. This chart provides a snapshot of BAC values for males and females of different weights.


refusal skills

What should you do if you don't want to drink, but then someone starts to pressure you? Or you're ready to stop drinking, but then someone offers you another one? Direct and indirect social pressure can be worthy adversaries, so developing the ability to say no in a direct and respectful way can definitely come in handy.


Start here: Without hesitation (or the best attempt you can muster), make eye-contact with the person and keep your response short, clear, and simple: “no thanks, I’m good” is a classic. 


If the person persists, you can also try the ‘broken record’ approach of repeating your answer over and over again, and if that still doesn’t work - walk away. Other tips: Carry a cup with water or non-alcoholic beverages in it during parties. Ask for club soda if you’re at a bar. Spill a drink on yourself so that you have an excuse to leave. 


No matter how convincing someone's encouragement might be, stay strong and stick to your limit. You know there is nothing fun on the other side of it

serving sizes

Because the strength (i.e. the percentage of alcohol) of different types of drinks varies, it can be confusing to figure out what qualifies as one “drink.” The standard measurement for a “drink” is reflected here.


emergency protocol

Alcohol poisoning is a serious - and sometimes deadly - consequence of drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. Drinking too much too quickly can affect your breathing, heart rate, gag reflex, and potentially lead to coma and death. A person with alcohol poisoning needs immediate medical attention. If you witness any of the following symptoms, call for emergency help right away:


  • Passing out (unconsciousness) and can’t be awakened

  • Vomiting

  • Confusion

  • Low body temperature

  • Blue-tinged skin

  • Slow breathing (less than eight breaths per minute)

  • Irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breath

  • Seizures


If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning - even if you don’t see the classic symptoms or signs - seek immediate medical care:


  • Call 911 or your campus emergency number immediately. Never assume the person will sleep off alcohol poisoning.

  • Be prepared to provide information. If you know, be sure to tell hospital or emergency personnel the kind and amount of alcohol the person drank, and when.

  • Don’t leave an unconscious person alone. Because alcohol poisoning affects the way the gag reflex works, someone with alcohol poisoning may choke on his or her own vomit and not be able to breathe. While waiting for help, don't try to make the person vomit because he or she could choke.

  • Help a person who is vomiting. Try to keep him or her sitting up. If the person must lie down, make sure to turn his or her head to the side — this helps prevent choking. Try to keep the person awake.

The Limit Estimator

The Drink Limit Estimator determines the number of standard drinks one could have, based on a variety of personal variables, to stay under the BAC values of .02, .06, .08, and .12.

The effects of alcohol are clearly felt with a BAC of .02. Generally, drinking to a BAC of .06 should result in a safe and enjoyable night out. Anything above a .08 means you are legally intoxicated. We do not suggest drinking to the point of having a BAC of .12.


The reason we’ve chosen .12 as a limit for BAC is that there is a clear tipping point at this level of impairment where the "good” vibes turn “bad” - described as dysphoria - where you'll feel anxious, restless, and possibly angry. Additionally, a BAC above a .12 comes with a variety of serious physical and mental impairments, including reduced ability to reason, make judgements, and assess danger, weakened memory recall and self-control, severe loss of balance, coordination, vision, reaction time, and slurred speech.


Finding a limit to how many drinks you can have over a certain period of time can help you avoid all of these symptoms. Head back to our Drink Limit Estimator to calculate your numbers.

The BAC Simulator

The BAC Simulator calculates the body’s absorption and metabolism of alcohol over time using a two-compartment model. In order to determine blood alcohol concentration, it is necessary to estimate the user’s total blood volume. This is done using the Widmark equation, which takes into account sex, height, weight, and age.


While the Widmark equation is widely used and accepted, it is important to note that it is still just an empirical correlation and can never perfectly predict an individual’s body water volume. Similarly, while the values for the stomach absorption constant and Michaelis-Menten elimination constants were taken from peer-reviewed academic journals, it is inevitable that different individuals will metabolize and absorb alcohol at different rates. (Specifically, stomach absorption rate is highly variable depending on what and how much you've eaten recently.)


The BAC estimates are just that - ESTIMATES. They are meant to provide general guidance for making decisions about your health. These estimates are not  a medical diagnosis and are not intended to be used to determine whether it's safe to operate a vehicle.

BuzzChecked is a for alcohol education, created in cooperation with
"The Greatest College Health Guide You Never Knew You Needed"
For more information, visit
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