What is intoxication by alcohol?

  • Intoxication by alcohol is the point at which alcohol depresses the central nervous system so that mood and physical and mental abilities are noticeably changed.
  • In California, it is unlawful for a person to drive with certain amounts of alcohol in their system. We’ll talk about driving under the influence (DUI) more thoroughly in the next unit.
  • In the meantime, you will need to know that blood alcohol concentration (BAC, for short) is the way law enforcement measures intoxication, mainly for the crime of driving under the influence. It represents the amount of alcohol, by weight, in a person’s bloodstream. It is measured in two ways:
    • A breathalyzer is typically a mobile device used at the scene to measure the amount of alcohol in a driver’s breath in terms of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
    • A blood test is used, generally after an arrest, to measure the amount of alcohol in a driver’s blood, based on grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.