NEWS | June 4, 2013

Stone cold sober

By 628th Air Base Wing Safety Office

How often do you think about the real choices you have when it comes to alcohol? There is so much more to this question than just "should I drink or not."

Choosing to use or not to use alcohol is a personal choice for which each Airman and Sailor is responsible. As adults, we are all responsible for the consequences of our decisions. Before deciding whether or not to include alcohol in your activities, consider all the implications.

Do you consider alcohol necessary to have a good time? Many people think alcohol is a complement to social events, good food and conversation with friends or family. Even if this is what you think, you must still be prepared with a plan to prevent a mishap. What does that mean? It means not only having the plan, but knowing it is your responsibility to follow through with the plan. Use your designated driver; sleep over at your friend's house; call a taxi or simply don't drink.

Regardless of your activity, it's important to know what effects alcohol can have on you. Keeping in mind that there are variations among individuals, below is a guideline of what happens at different Blood Alcohol Concentration levels.

0.02-0.03 BAC: No loss of coordination, slight euphoria and loss of shyness. Depressant effects are not apparent. Other affects include being mildly relaxed and lightheaded.

0.04-0.06 BAC: Feeling of well-being, relaxation, lower inhibitions, sensation of warmth and increased euphoria. In addition, there may be some minor impairment of reasoning and memory and a loweringa lowering of caution. Behavior may become exaggerated and emotions intensified (Good emotions are better, bad emotions are worse.)

0.07-0.09 BAC: Slight impairment of balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing. Judgment and self-control are impaired, as well as caution, reason and memory.. It is illegal to drive with a .08.

0.10-0.125 BAC: Significant impairment of motor coordination and loss of good judgment. Speech may be slurred; balance, vision, reaction time and hearing will be impaired.

0.13-0.15 BAC: Gross motor impairment and lack of physical control. Alcohol creates blurred vision and major loss of balance on the individual. Euphoria is reduced and dysphoria (emotional state of anxiety and restlessness) is beginning to appear. However, judgment and perception are severely impaired at this point.

0.16-0.19 BAC: Dysphoria predominates, nausea may appear. The drinker has the appearance of a "sloppy drunk."

0.20 BAC: Feeling dazed, confused or otherwise disoriented. The individual may need help with basic motor functions, such as standing or walking. If individuals injure themselves, they may not feel pain. Some people experience nausea and vomiting at this level. The gag reflex is impaired and you can choke if you do vomit. Blackouts are likely at this level so you may not remember what has happened.

0.25 BAC: All of the individuals' mental, physical and sensory functions are severely impaired. Increased risk of asphyxiation, from choking on vomit and seriously injuring yourself by otherby other accidents occur.

0.30 BAC: Individuals enter a state of stupor . They may have little comprehension of where they are. Individuals may pass out suddenly and be difficult to awake the individuals.

0.35 BAC: Coma is possible. This is the level of surgical anesthesia.

0.40 BAC and up:
Onset of coma, and possible death due to respiratory arrest.

Everyone should enjoy the summer season - responsibly! Your family, friends, co-workers and the Air Force need you to come back Safe 'n Sound!


First hand accounts:

A2A members Airman 1st Class Trevor Jones, Airman 1st Class John Ribbins and Airman 1st Class Amanda Speybroeck have all experienced the damaging effects of alcohol.

To see their stories or to contact an A2A member, visit: http://www.af.mil/specials/AirmantoAirman/index.html or contact your MAJCOM A2A POC.

For more information:

http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html

http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/drinkinganddriving/

http://www.iihs.org/laws/dui.aspx