Blood alcohol level

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A person's blood alcohol level (BAL) (also known as blood alcohol concentration) is a figure calculated as every milligram of alcohol for every 100 milliliters of blood. For example, a BAL of .10 is 10 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 milliliters of blood.[1] In the United States, a BAL of over .08 is sufficient for a presumption of guilt. However, any amount of alcohol can impair driving,[2] so the only way to remain totally safe from alcohol's effect is to refrain from drinking before driving. A BAL of .4 is usually fatal.


  1. Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) Monitoring HabitSmart accessed June 24, 2007
  2. Alcohol's Effects Virginia Tech: College Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center accessed June 24, 2007