Blood Alcohol Content

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

Your blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, is the amount of alcohol in your blood. For example, if your BAC is 0.05%, that means you have 50 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millitres of blood. How much and how fast you drink, your body weight and type, and how much food you have consumed affects your BAC. According to BAC charts, a drink is defined as follows:

  • Beer, 341 ml (12 oz), 5% alcohol content
  • Wine, 142 ml (5 oz), 12% alcohol content
  • Cider/Cooler, 341 ml (12 oz), 5% alcohol content
  • Distilled alcohol (rye, gin, rum, etc.), 43 ml (1.5 oz), 40% alcohol content

Check out Smart Serve's tool to see how you compare.

In Canada, the Criminal Code BAC limit is 0.08%. This is the level at which Criminal Code impaired driving charges can be laid. But even a small amount of alcohol can impact your ability to drive. If your BAC is above 0.05%, you risk having your licence suspended for 24 hours to 7 days. If you are under the age of 21, and you are driving, your BAC needs to be at 0.00%

Pleasure Zone

green smoke

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  • 0.01% - 0.05% = mild euphoria, slight muscle relaxation. May also notice increased sociability and become more talkative.
  • 0.05% - 0.08% = lowered alertness, reason and judgement slightly impaired. May also notice exaggerated behaviors.

Caution Zone

yellow smoke

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  • 0.08% - 0.15% = slowed reactions, inability to focus, loud talking, senses impaired, short-term memory loss, slurred speech. May also notice loud talking.
  • 0.15% - 0.24% = lack of motor control, illogical thinking, blurred vision, difficulty standing/walking, sedation, stupor. May also notice agitation.

Stop and Get Help Zone

red smoke

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  • 0.24% - 0.35% = impaired circulation and respiration, increased pain threshold, disorientation, loss of motor function, loss of consciousness, possible death by overdose
  • 0.35% + = extremely slow or irregular breathing, pale/bluish skin, unresponsive
  • 0.40% + = death can occur. 

 

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