The following table outlines the typical blood alcohol concentration of people of varying weight, based on the number of standard drinks he or she has consumed.
This chart is provided for information only, as a means to estimate blood alcohol concentration (BAC). It may take up to 30 minutes after the last drink of alcohol for a person to reach the highest BAC level. Mixing energy drinks, drugs or other medications with alcohol can increase a person's level of impairment.
If a person's BAC is .08 or over, the person is considered impaired under the Criminal Code of Canada. If a person's BAC is .05 or over, the person is considered impaired under British Columbia's Motor Vehicle Act. When someone drinks an alcoholic beverage, it is slightly diluted by digestive juices in the mouth and stomach. Though most drugs must be passed into the intestine for absorption, alcohol is one of the few that is partially absorbed through the stomach. This difference between women's and men's reaction to alcohol results from three possible explanations. Thus chronic alcohol use causes greater physical damage to women than to men-female alcoholics have death rates 50% to 100% higher than male alcoholics (NIAAA, 1990). The alcohol that isn't absorbed in the stomach passes into the small intestines where it is absorbed into the bloodstream and partially metabolized by the liver and then quickly distributed throughout the body. Because the body treats alcohol as a toxin or poison, elimination begins as soon as it is ingested. Alcohol is metabolized in the liver, first by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) into acetaldehyde, which is very toxic to the body and especially the liver, and then by acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) into acetic acid that is finally oxidized into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) (Fig. Besides ALDH irregularities, drugs such as aspirin also inhibit metabolism of alcohol and lead to higher blood alcohol concentration in both men and women. In many countries, alcoholic beverages are used primarily as a source of nutrition while in others they are used primarily for their mind-altering effects.
Though absorption of alcohol is quite variable, metabolism occurs at a defined continuous rate.


This blood alcohol concentration table (Table 5-3) measures the concentration of alcohol in a drinker's blood. If a person drinks over a period of time, the alcohol is metabolized at a rate of .015 per hour. Photos 1, 2, 3 and 8 represent aspects of the body or life experience that are affected by the sex of the body, but not necessarily in ways that we expect.
Photos 6 and 7 represent dimensions of life experience that are not affected by the sex of the body. Photo 4 and 5 represent aspects of the body or life experiences that may be affected by the sex of the body. Except where otherwise noted, original content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License. Many factors can affect a person's BAC, including amount of alcohol consumed, rate of consumption, food consumption, and factors specific to each person such as gender, age, weight, height and metabolism. Because alcohol is readily soluble in water and doesn't need to be digested, it immediately begins to be absorbed and distributed. In men about 20% of the alcohol is absorbed by the stomach wall while in women there is almost no absorption by the stomach. Since alcohol molecules are small, water-soluble, lipid-soluble, and move easily through capillary walls by passive diffusion, they can enter any organ or tissue and in the case of pregnancy, can even cross the placental barrier into the fetal circulatory system (O'Brien, 1991). Distillation in this sixteenth centry Dutch laboratory supplies alcohol for making medicines and for drinking. Approximately 2% to 10% of the alcohol is eliminated directly without being metabolized; a small amount is exhaled via the lungs while additional amounts are excreted through sweat, saliva, and urine.
Absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream takes place at various sites along the gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach, the small intestines, and the colon. Once alcohol reaches the brain and passes through the blood-brain barrier, psychoactive effects gradually begin to occur.
In distillation, a liquid is boiled and the vapors are drawn off, cooled, and condensed into a liquid. The remaining 90% to 98% of alcohol is neutralized through metabolism (mainly oxidation) by the liver and then by excretion through the kidneys and lungs (Jones, 1998).


The varying availability and efficiency of ADH and ALDH, due in part to hereditary capabilities, accounts for some of the variation in people's reaction to alcohol (Bosron, Ehrig, & Li, 1993). On average, alcoholics get half their energy intake from alcohol and, as a result, are much more susceptible to malnutrition, particularly thiamine, folate, and other vitamin B deficiencies. Thus we can usually predict the amount of alcohol that will be circulating through the body and brain and how long it will take that amount to be metabolized by the liver and eliminated via urination, sweating, and breathing. Women have higher blood alcohol concentrations than men do from the same amount of alcohol. The highest levels of blood alcohol concentration occur 30-90 minutes after alcohol is drunk.
A clear, colorless, almost 100% pure grain alcohol distillate can be created using this process. Though Asians have a higher rate of abstention and lower rate of alcoholism, Asian-Americans' rate of alcoholism is higher, showing that environmental and cultural influences can overcome biological propensities (Lee, 1987). Acetaldehyde is then quickly acted on by a second enzyme, acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), that oxidizes it into acetic acid (CH3COOH). However, each person's actual reaction and level of impairment can vary widely, depending on drinking history, behavioral tolerance, and a dozen other factors.
A woman who weighs the same as a man and drinks the same number of drinks as a man absorbs about 30% more alcohol and feels its psychoactive effects faster and more intensely (NIAAA, 1990). It takes about 15-20 minutes for alcohol to reach the brain via the blood and cause impairment but more time for it to enter the urine. It takes 30-40 minutes after ingestion to reach maximum blood alcohol concentration (NIAAA, 1997). These neurons are inhibited by leptin, insulin and peptide YY and activated by ghrelin.neurons contain POMC projects to ventromedial hypothalamus.



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