Perkins, H. Wesley, William DeJong,
and Jeff Linkenbach. 2001.
"Estimated Blood Alcohol Levels Reached by ‘Binge' and ‘Non-Binge'
Drinkers: A Survey of Young Adults in Montana." Psychology of Addictive
Behaviors, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 317-320.
The authors examined estimated blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) reached by
so-called “binge drinkers” and “nonbinge drinkers” using a survey of young
adults (age 18-24) in Montana. One third of drinkers were classified as
“binge drinkers” the last time they consumed alcohol, using a gender-specific
definition commonly applied to young adults: for men, having five or more
drinks in a row, and for women, having four or more drinks. BAC levels were estimated on the basis of
length of drinking episode, gender, weight, and typical alcohol consumption
level. Among “binge drinkers,” 63% did
not reach .10% BAC or higher, 48% did not reach .08% BAC or higher, and 30% did
not reach .06% BAC or higher. Of the
“nonbinge drinkers,” 7% reached .06% BAC of higher and 4% reached .08% BAC or
higher. The findings underscore the
potential problem of using binge drinking
as a description and shorthand measure of drinking intoxication.