The maximum permissible blood alcohol level for drivers is 0.2 ppm. How much is this in glasses, glasses, revolutions and grams? Six of our employees helped figure this out. For the purity of the experiment, we invited three men and three women of different weights – men weighing 71, 83 and 88 kg, women – 50, 60 and 65 kg. They had to test such popular drinks as beer, wine, vodka, cognac and champagne.
As you know, the degree of intoxication depends not only on weight and gender, but also on physical condition, body characteristics, race and food eaten. The data we received is averaged and may differ in each specific case. The measurement was carried out using a German Drager breathalyzer, which was adopted by the Ukrainian police.
Little by little
Before the experiment began, all participants underwent a breathalyzer test to ensure their sobriety. We started with beer, and with a small bottle of 0.33 liters. Measured immediately after drinking. The result was amazing: the breathalyzer showed from 0.25 to 1 ppm! The fact is that concentrated alcohol vapors remain in the oral cavity for 2–5 minutes after the last sip of alcohol. Therefore, the device showed the level of alcohol in the mouth, and not in the blood. We have already encountered a similar phenomenon when we tested kvass and non-alcoholic beer. But real results can only be obtained after some time.
We took the next measurement 30 minutes later, when alcohol had already entered the blood. A dose of 0.33 liters of beer for men turned out to be a trifle – from 0.03 to 0.10 ppm, but for two thin women it was the limit – 0.20 and 0.24 ppm. At the same time, in a woman with the highest weight among the tested employees, 65 kg, the breathalyzer showed only 0.13 ppm.
After a 0.5 liter bottle of beer, the level of alcohol in the men’s blood reached the maximum allowed 0.2 ppm. While a half-liter bottle of beer will still be prohibited for women: the indicator for a participant weighing 65 kg is 0.24 ppm.
Even after consuming an “unpunishable” dose of alcohol of 0.2 ppm, driving is strictly prohibited. This can only be done after complete sobering up.
Snack degree steals
For the purity of the experiment, each type of alcohol was tested on a separate day. The next day they checked the cognac. We started with 30 grams of the drink. The measurement half an hour later revealed very unexpected data – for two men the indicators were 0.11 and 0.13 ppm, and for the strongest one – 0.00 ppm! As it turned out, he had lunch before the experiment began. While the other two participants drank on an empty stomach. For two thin women, these 30 grams were enough: the tester showed 0.20 and 0.19 ppm, respectively. The blood alcohol level in the third was 0.10 ppm. However, after another 20 grams the device showed 0.31 ppm. The indicators for men after 50 grams of cognac are from 0.13 to 0.19 ppm.
All subsequent tests were carried out according to the same scheme – starting with small doses and increasing them until the desired result was obtained. Most of the measurements were made on an empty stomach, as they say, in the most difficult “combat” conditions. Although they later checked the level of intoxication after lunch. Indeed, the results were confirmed – the snack still steals the cake. We have included in the diagram the results of measurements taken on an empty stomach. It shows average data for each of the alcoholic drinks we tested.
Driving – no, no!
So, our experiment confirmed the existing theoretical basis for the dependence of the degree of intoxication on a person’s weight, gender, food and physical condition. But the most important result of the test – almost all the subjects unanimously stated: that dose of alcohol, equal to 0.2 ppm, was noticeable to them even half an hour after drinking alcohol. Therefore, even after drinking this dose, you cannot drive.
How do people get drunk?
When drinking alcohol, alcohol enters the body through the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract. About 20% of the total amount drunk is absorbed in the stomach, and the rest is absorbed through the walls of the small intestine. With an empty stomach, resorption (the absorption phase of alcohol) ends in 30-60 minutes, and with a full stomach it takes about twice as long. This is precisely what explains the fact that a person who drinks alcohol without eating gets drunk much faster.
It has been scientifically established that alcohol affects women faster than men, and sobering up occurs more slowly in the fair sex. This is explained by the fact that in the female body there is less alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme, which is responsible for the breakdown of ethyl alcohol, than in the male body. Therefore, the concentration of alcohol in the blood is higher.
The degree of intoxication also depends on race – Asians have very little alcohol dehydrogenase. That’s why they quickly get drunk even from a small amount of alcohol. But Europeans have much more of this enzyme, so compared to Asians they can drink much more.