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What is the normal range of blood alcohol content?

Wednesday, 18 July 2007
Answered by: Dr. Anuj Sharma
Senior Consultant Microbiologist
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
Delhi
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Q. In my blood tests taken at the time of my accident, the blood alcohol level had shown as 8.9. I would like to know if 8.9 is on the higher side. My family looked at that reports and started suspecting that I was drunk while driving. What does 8.9 units of blood alcohol mean?

A.  Blood alcohol content (or level or concentration) is the concentration of alcohol in blood. It is measured either as a percentage by mass, by mass per volume, or a combination. For example, a blood level of 0.2% can mean 2 grams (or 2000 mg) of alcohol per 1000 grams of an individuals blood, or it can mean 0.2 grams (200 mg) of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. In many countries, the blood alcohol level is measured and reported as grams of alcohol per 1000 millilitres (1 litre) of blood (g/1000 ml). Because the specific gravity of blood is very close to the specific gravity of water (the main component in blood), the numerical values for blood alcohol level (%) and (g/1000 ml) do not differ to any consequential degree other than the placement of the decimal point. Different countries have different limits for safe driving, varying from 0.08% in some countries to any detectable amount in a few countries. In India, the blood alcohol level at which a person is considered to be legally impaired for driving a vehicle the limit in blood is 30 mg/dl. You have not mentioned the units so it is difficult to comment on a level of 8.9. Answered by DoctorNDTV

A.  Blood alcohol content (or level or concentration) is the concentration of alcohol in blood. It is measured either as a percentage by mass, by mass per volume, or a combination. For example, a blood level of 0.2% can mean 2 grams (or 2000 mg) of alcohol per 1000 grams of an individuals blood, or it can mean 0.2 grams (200 mg) of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. In many countries, the blood alcohol level is measured and reported as grams of alcohol per 1000 millilitres (1 litre) of blood (g/1000 ml). Because the specific gravity of blood is very close to the specific gravity of water (the main component in blood), the numerical values for blood alcohol level (%) and (g/1000 ml) do not differ to any consequential degree other than the placement of the decimal point. Different countries have different limits for safe driving, varying from 0.08% in some countries to any detectable amount in a few countries. In India, the blood alcohol level at which a person is considered to be legally impaired for driving a vehicle the limit in blood is 30 mg/dl. You have not mentioned the units so it is difficult to comment on a level of 8.9. Answered by DoctorNDTV

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