Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.


Weekend Sip Tip

Ready for some "math"? (Since your brain loves working hard even on Fridays)!  Use the BAC chart attached to answer these TOUGH questions and scroll down to see what new research has to say about BAC levels and college students.

Four friends are out at a bar and drinking at the same pace.  In one hour, they've all consumed 3 drinks.  What is the estimated BAC for each person? 
120 lb woman?
160 lb woman?
120 lb man?
160 lb man?

This same group continues their night and ends up drinking for 3 hours now, but they haven't been keeping the same pace.  What is each person's estimated BAC based on their total drinks and weight below?

120 lb woman, 6 drinks
160 lb woman, 7 drinks
120 lb man, 7 drinks
160 lb man, 8 drinks

The group is finishing up their night after 5 hours of drinking, what's their estimated BAC using the info below?

120 lb woman, 9 drinks
160 lb woman, 9 drinks
120 lb man, 10 drinks
160 lb man, 11 drinks

Did you see a difference in the BAC levels for each person, despite the similar drinking levels?  If a person is equipped with the BAC cards at a bar, do you think they'd be more or less likely to stay in a safe drinking zone?  

What if you are out and drinking, and someone asks you to estimate your BAC level without a BAC card to guide you?  Do you think you would be accurate?  According to this study, students overestimated their BAC earlier in the night (think of the first sample problem), while underestimating their level of intoxication once the night was winding down.  You can imagine the implications from that, including higher incidences of alcohol-related injuries, arguments, fights, etc.  A person believing they are more sober than they are can have dangerous and sometimes very serious consequences. 

Looking for ways to avoid those dangerous situations if you are drinking, but don't want to carry a BAC card around?  Try to plan your night before heading out so you know what your limits are before stepping foot near alcohol.  Pace yourself to about 1-2 drinks an hour to stay within a buzzed range.  Remember you don't need to keep pace with everyone else- alcohol may affect you differently than your friend.  If you feel like you should have a drink in your hand, try switching to a water or non-alcoholic version of your drink.  And remember...

Answers to the math problems:
 .10, .07, .08, .05
.18, .15, .17, .14
.26, .17, .23, .18