It is possible to have fun and be social, and to also be safe. Knowledge, good information, a trusted group of friends, and mutual accountability can help. The following information is useful to both students who choose to drink, as well as the people around them. Being a responsible friend or bystander in situations where you see concerning activity is a critical part of contributing to a safe campus community. Read on for information about: setting and following personal guidelines, knowing about Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), keeping drunk or buzzed drivers off the road, and dealing with possible alcohol poisoning.
SETTING AND FOLLOWING PERSONAL GUIDELINES
One way of reducing your risk is to have a few simple rules that help you make good choices around social events, especially as it relates to using alcohol responsibly. Commit to these five simple strategies to help reduce your risk:
1. Eat before you drink.
2. Select a designated driver.
3. Count your drinks and stick to your limit.
4. Arrive and leave together.
5. Remember that intoxicated partners are unable to give consent to sex.
BLOOD ALCOHOL CONTENT (BAC)
It's good to know how alcohol affects you. In Illinois, the legal limit to operate a vehicle is a blood alcohol level of .08, and often people who choose to drink, report that at that level, they experience both the social benefits of responsible drinking (sociability, conversational ease, reduced social anxiety) without the negative consequences of more extreme intoxication (sickness, memory loss, motor function delay or loss, hangovers). The charts below can help you understand how your body chemistry (based on weight and drinks per hour) may respond to drinking. Of course, stress, hormones and environmental conditions (whether you've eaten recently) can also impact how your body metabolizes alcohol in any given instance.