Terms and Definitions
Although individuals may have heard certain alcohol related terms, they do
not know the exact definition. The purpose of this page is to educate
individuals about these terms. If you can think of other definitions we should
include, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and ask.
Proof refers to the percentage of ethyl alcohol by volume
in any particular type of alcoholic beverage. Proof corresponds to twice the
percentage rate. For example, a bottle of whiskey may be 80 proof or 40% alcohol
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) refers to
the concentration of pure ethyl alcohol in an individuals' blood. It is usually
described as a percentage such as in the legal driving limit for the state of
Wyoming...0.08%. However, if the individual is under the age of 21, they can be
issued a DUI at a .02 or above.
related to alcohol is primarily psychological, in other words, your brain has
learned to make some adjustments while you are drinking. Basically, you have
become used to feeling drunk and do not perceive the level of impairment.
However, things like reaction time, balance, coordination, visual acuity, and
reasoning and judgment are immutably impaired based exclusively on BAC. You will
be just as drunk if it is your first time drinking or your 5000th time drinking.
Only your perception changes, not your level of impairment or
"Binge drinking" is a research
term that has received a lot of press in recent years in relation to college
student's misuse of alcohol. Technically, a "binge drinking" episode is defined
as five or more drinks in a sitting for a man, four or more drinks in a sitting
for a woman.
A "blackout" occurs when an individual is so impaired
from alcohol that they experience memory impairment similar to amnesia. The
individual may be walking around and doing things, but these experiences are not
transferred to long term memory. The risk of blackout typically begins when the
BAC/BAL is around .15.
A "brownout" is similar to a
blackout, but long term memory is less impaired. The individual is able to
recall aspects of the experience, but only when they receive reminders about a
"Passing out" occurs when the
individual ingests so much alcohol that they lose consciousness, indicating a
dangerous level of intoxication.