Alcohol                                                  (back to home page)

DWI Test Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant drug, and as such is the most abused drug in America. Drunk driving accidents account for more American deaths than any other drug. In fact, alcohol impaired drivers kill or injure a person every minute of the day. About half of all fatal crashes involve a drinking driver. Although many adults feel they can drive safely after drinking, they they are nine times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash. Each year, alcohol related crashes result in $46 billion in lost property damage including $5 billion in medical bills.

Alcohol Facts

Alcohol is a family of closely related chemicals including methanol, ethanol, and isopropanol, of which only ethanol , (C2 H5 OH), is fit for human consumption. One 12-ounce can of beer, one glass of wine, and one shot of 80 proof whiskey all have roughly the same amount of pure ethanol, about  0.48 ounces. Alcohol is primarily absorbed in the small intestine, (80%), not the stomach, (20%), which can result in raising blood alcohol level long after a person stops drinking. Given the fact that ethanol is water soluble and that women have roughly 13% less water in their bodies than men, a woman will have a higher blood alcohol level than a man despite drinking the exact same amount of alcohol and having the same body weight. The only way to eliminate ethanol from the body is through metabolism in the liver at about 0.015 BAC per hour our roughly one drink per hour.  


How alcohol enforcement training can help

Most people can easily recognize the signs of impairment at a blood alcohol level at 0.17 BAC. The problem is that people are impaired at levels as low as 0.05 BAC where gross physical symptoms are not obvious to the untrained observer. Using advanced drug recognition techniques, such as horizontal gaze nystagmus, (an involuntary jerking of the eyeballs aggravated by alcohol), a trained observer can reliably recognize even low levels of impairment.

Sergeant Bruce R. Talbot has been teaching alcohol and drug recognition for the prestigious national police training organization, Northwestern University's Traffic Institute, to police officers all across the country.

This simple to learn eye clue can be taught and used by private corporate and school personnel to allow non-body invasive screening for impairment.

Effects of Alcohol

Expressed in Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels

  • 0.03 BAC - Slowed reaction time.
  • 0.04 BAC - Federal prohibited limit for commercial drivers license.
  • 0.05 BAC - Increased risk taking and American Medical Association recommended prohibited limit.
  • 0.08 BAC - Recommended prohibited limit for criminal charges and impaired vision.
  • 0.10 BAC - Poor large muscle control, loss of balance, and prohibited limit in most states.
  • 0.17 BAC - National average blood alcohol level of drivers in a fatal crash.
  • 0.19 BAC - National average for first time DUI offender and of persons who have killed police officers.
  • 0.20 BAC - Loss of emotional control.
  • 0.22 BAC - National average for replete DUI offenders at time of arrest.
  • 0.30 BAC - Loss of orientation as to time and place,.
  • 0.35 BAC - Blackouts and stupor.
  • 0.50 BAC - Published overdose level leading to death.
  • 0.74 BAC - Highest recorded blood alcohol level by a US hospital.