Experts in ToxicologyHomeHome
Home PageAbout UsContact UsToxicology SupportProduct SafetyToxicology TopicsOther ServicesDr. Richard A. Parent

Toxicology Notes and Literature

Alcohol Notes

Alcohol, DWI, DUI, DramShop



Allsop (Attach B ref 5 of last report): reported that a BAC of 0.10 % resulted in a 600% increase in motor vehicle accidents over those with 0%BAC and 0.15% increased that probablility by 2500%

Zador(ref 6) determined that BACs between 0.02 and 0.04% increased the probablity of fatal crash by 40% and BACs between 0.10 and 0.14% increased that probability by 4800%



Hunt and Wuitt, 1994(CTX-30793) state that the major effects of alohol are "inappropriate processing of environmental stimuli and degraded motor skills" alcohol degrades the performance of tasks that are related to driving a vehicle, behavioral deficits occur relative to vehicular safety including degredation of psychomotor skills, perception, tracking, information processing and attention.

Several other studies showing effects of alcohol on ability to operate motor vehicles at BAC levels of below 0.10%(refs 7-11 of report)

Attwood et al, 1980(CTX-30781) have reported that levels of blood alcohol as low as 0.063% can have an effect on driving ability and these differences in driving performance ability can be discerned between those with BAC 0.033% and 0.079% under controlled experimentation

Ferrara et al(CTX1773) states "most authors agree that low alcohol levels can cause significant impairment in psychomotor performance, to the extent that driving safety is compromised"


Effect of alcohol on risk taking, visual signal detection, reaction times and perceptual motor skills as well as behavioral and cognitive parameters have also been studied(refs 12-15 of report)

BAC levels between 0.1 and 0.20% have been reported to prolong reaction to light and sound stimuli by 10-15%(CTX-30786)

Davis and Lipson, 1986; (CTX-1778) - reported that BAC levels as low as 0.05% produced loss of inhibitions and BAC level of 0.10% resulted in staggering, drowsines and clumsiness

Laberg and Loberg in 1989 (CTX-1776) used behavioral techniques to show that a BAC level as low as 0.07% resulted in increased tremor on steadiness tests


Level from 80 to 50mg% in Australia (Brooks, C and Zaal D, 1993as cited in CTX-1773)

Level from 50 to 20mg% in Sweden(A Aberg, 1993 as cited in CTX-1773)

In Ontario Canada for the past 10 years, drivers have risked immediate confiscation of their license for 12 hours if their BACs fall between 50 and 80mg% (E Vingilis et al, "The Ontario 12-hour administrative licence suspension law against drinking drivers: the Ontario provincial police assessment of offence and driver's characteristics", J Traffic Med, vol 21, 59-64(1993))


Eight states that enacted zero-tolerance laws were compared with nearby states without such laws and zero tolerance states demonstrated a 21% greater decline in the proportion of single vehicle nightime MVAs involving drivers under 21yo, the type of crash most likely to involve alcohol[R Higson, T Heeren and M Winter, "Lower legal blood alcohol limits for young drivers", Public Health Reports, vol 109, 738-744(1994)]

Interaction between risk taking, inexperience in young drivers and risk taking enhanced by alcohol studied in a case-control study; results clearly indicate that positive BACs in drivers under 21 are associated with higher relative crash risks as would be predicted from the additive effect of BAC and age; young people are predisposed to MVA involvement based on risk taking, and inexperienced coupled with alcohol [RC Peck, et al, "The relationship between blood alcohol concentration(BAC), age and crash risk", J Safety Res, vol 39, no 3, 311-319(2008)

In This Section

Causation Reports

Toxicology Notes and Literature

Toxicology Litigation Support