Blood alcohol concentrations aren’t just something police measure with a breathalyzer. Yes, your blood alcohol concentration or BAC is used by police when measuring just how intoxicated you were when you made the decision to get behind the wheel of your car, but your BAC is also used by doctors when determining just how drunk you really are.
Because of the reliability of the breathalyzer device, a doctor will usually only take your BAC if you’re brought in by police or via ambulance due to a car crash or if you can’t blow into the breathalyzer.
There are a lot of reasons to be concerned about some people’s level of intoxication, especially considering that there have been documented cases where someone registered a BAC that’s past the lethal level of .40 and they’ve lived to tell the tale. But when it comes to BAC, .40 is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are a few cases where people are over 1.0 and higher.
It was -10 degrees outside in the middle of a chilly Polish winter, but police found a Polish man asleep and half naked out on the streets. When he was given a breathalyzer, he registered a whopping 1.024%. There’s no word on whether he woke up from his chilly sleep, but that’s beyond the lethal BAC of .40.
After one Californian woman was found dead, they measured her blood alcohol concentration during her autopsy. It registered as 1.400, and her official cause of death was organ failure.
After a car crash that resulted in serious injuries, a Polish man’s BAC was taken and it was 1.480%. That’s the highest BAC ever recorded in known history. Doctors said he survived his brush with death due to drinking, but he later died due to his injuries from the car crash.
How did these people end up with BAC so high? Binge drinking seems to be the culprit, with people consuming mass quantities of alcohol within a small time frame. If you do that, the alcohol can hit you like a ton of bricks, and your BAC can escalate from 0 to lethal in no time at all.
The moral of the story: when you binge drink, it’s all too easy to have a BAC that’s .08 and over. If you’re going to drink, drink in moderation. If you’re going to drive, hand the keys over to someone else. Even the smallest infraction can require you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for years at a time.