Alcohol Safety Information

Alcohol Poisoning

What are the signs?
  • Unconscious or semi-conscious and cannot be awakened
  • Skin is cold or clammy and has pale or bluish color
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Slow breathing – less than eight breaths per minute
  • Vomiting while “sleeping” or passed out, and not waking up after vomiting.
  • Eyes rolling back into head
If a person has ANY of these symptoms, they need help! 
  • Don’t leave the person alone—turn the person on his/her side to prevent choking in case of vomiting.
  • It’s important to get help ASAP. Your friend will appreciate the fact that you care, and you will NOT get in trouble for helping someone with alcohol poisoning. 
  • PLEASE, do not be afraid to help a friend or fellow student in need!

The Basics of BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration)

What affects BAC?
  • How much you drink – the more you drink, the higher your BAC
  • How quickly you drink – your BAC rises faster if you don’t let your body catch up to process the alcohol
  • Your biological sex – BAC tends to rise more quickly in women than in men. Men have 25% more of the enzyme that breaks down alcohol; women are typically smaller with higher percentages of body fat for reproduction purposes. Alcohol stays in fat cells and takes longer to oxidize. 
  • Your size – the larger you are, the more water your body contains, diluting the alcohol
  • What you've eaten recently – food slows the absorption of alcohol, especially if it’s loaded with protein and carbohydrates

What is an actual drink drink?
  • 12 ounces of beer or malt beverage
  • 4 - 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces of hard liquor (80 proof)

BAC Behavior Charts

Behavior chart according to BAC (some info adapted from multiple  sources:,,,

BAC Guildeline Chart

These charts are only guidelines and everyone's actual BAC will differ based on weight, how much you've eaten, etc...
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How Alcohol Effects Us: The Biphasic Curve

By: David J. Hanson, Ph. D.

Most people think that if a few drinks make them feel good then a lot of drinks will make them feel even better. But that’s not true. Although a few drinks will make them feel better, more will make them feel worse. It’s called the biphasic (or two part) effect.

Here’s what happens. People tend to feel better as their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rises to about .05 (.055 to be exact). That’s the first phase or part. If people drink more and their BAC rises above .055, the negative effects of drinking increase and hangovers become worse. That’s the second phase. So it’s clearly smart to stop during the first phase and not progress into the second phase.

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Chart illustrating the perceived notion that "more is better" when drinking alcohol.   Scientific chart illustrating the likelihood of negative side effects after .055 BAC

Personal Assessment

Take the e-CHUG or AUDIT for an online alcohol or drug assessment 
Where can I find more information?

Alcohol, drugs and safety: "How to Stay Safe"

UConn Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs: 

Changing the college drinking culture: