Alcohol Tolerance: The Great Deceiver!
Tolerance to alcohol means that with repeated drinking experiences, the same amount of alcohol affects a person less. In other words, you need to drink more alcohol to achieve the same effect. With practice, a person can have a lot to drink and be relatively unaffected in performing simple behaviors (e.g., touching one's nose). Unfortunately, other behaviors, such as paying attention to multiple tasks at the same time and making rapid decisions, show little development of tolerance, and these are the behaviors (e.g., while driving) that can get a person into trouble. Therefore, the law defines driving under the influence of alcohol not in terms of how impaired one seems to be, but in terms of blood alcohol level. How can you estimate your blood alcohol level? There are several sites that can help you calculate your blood alcohol level after drinking different amounts (e.g., http://www.intox.com/wheel/drinkwheel.asp; http://www.ou.edu/oupd/bac.htm). For more information contact the Healthy Lifestyles Guided Self-Change Program at (954) 262-5968.