Alcohol Poisoning: Recognizing the Risk

Picture this.  You and a good friend are out drinking (it could be New Year’s Eve, someone’s birthday celebration, or just a Friday night).  You go first to one bar, then another.  Each of you has more than a few drinks.  One of you notices that it is getting late and so you take a cab home.  But when you get there, your friend wants to continue celebrating and so you break open a bottle of liquor.  Both of you have far too much to drink, but you can’t recall how much you have had.  Suddenly, your friend is vomiting in the bathroom and then passes out.

Quick, what are the signs of alcohol poisoning?  What symptoms should you look for to decide whether your friend’s life might be at risk?

This post is not designed to encourage binge drinking, nor is it designed to scare you away from drinking responsibly.  But knowing the symptoms of alcohol poisoning could save a life.

According to the Mayo Clinic, you should look for the following symptoms to determine if someone is at risk of having alcohol poisoning:

  • Confusion, stupor
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
  • Irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths)
  • Blue-tinged skin or pale skin
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia)
  • Unconsciousness (“passing out”), and can’t be roused


The Mayo Clinic advises that “[i]t’s not necessary for all of these symptoms to be present before you seek help. A person who is unconscious or can’t be roused is at risk of dying.”  If you want to read more about alcohol poisoning, click on this link (

Finally, let me conclude by acknowledging that many of the Friends of the Firm read this blog for simple explanations on points of law, such as posts about DUIs or updates on the law.  While this post is not directly about a specific crime or point of law, it is my hope that this post will help at least one reader and so will have been worth writing.


The author of TNLawyerLee is Nicholas W. Lee, Esq., an attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee.  If you or someone you know need an attorney, please click here for Mr. Lee’s contact information and contact him today for a free consultation.  Also, please feel free to visit Mr. Lee’s website, or follow his page on Facebook for updates as to his law practice or new posts to TNLawyerLee by clicking here.

The information on this site is general information and should not be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and you should consult with an attorney in your state about the specific details of your case. Nothing on this site or in correspondence with Nicholas Lee or his agents shall be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship and information you send prior to the forming of an attorney-client relationship may not be kept confidential. Neither this site nor correspondence with Nicholas Lee or his agents shall be construed as a promise nor as undertaking a duty regarding you or your case. Nicholas Lee and his agents are not retained as your legal counsel unless a valid written Representation Agreement is reached regarding your specific case.

Copyright © 2012. Nicholas W. Lee, Attorney at Law. All rights reserved. This site’s content may not be used without the prior written consent of Nicholas Lee.

This entry was posted in Alcohol.

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