How much alcohol would a .708 BAC equal?

We have a winner at the wire in the drunkest person in the Upper Midwest contest. Marguerite Engle, 45, of Sturgis, South Dakota, was found to have a blood alcohol level of.708 earlier this month.

An MPR listener writes in to ask, “How many drinks is that?”

It’s difficult to know for sure because BAC depends on several factors including a person’s weight, how long it’s been since the alcohol was consumed, and the metabolism of the nearly dearly departed.

But we won’t let that stop us.

Using the BAC calculator here, and guessing that she’s 150 pounds, and guessing that she consumed them in one hour, we find that… well… we don’t know. It only allows for 9 drinks in an hour and that’s only a 0.2624 BAC.

The Police Notebook calculator, only goes up to 8 drinks.

This calculator at Beertown, suggests something on the order of 25 beers in one hour.

But reality suggests that the woman involved was not of average size nor average metabolism because the alcohol didn’t kill her.

This chart from Texas doesn’t have anything close to the woman’s blood alcohol content in its evaluation of the range of lethal amounts.

Consider this description from the University of Texas on a .40 to .50 blood alcohol level:

You are probably in a coma. The nerve centers controlling your heartbeat and respiration are slowing down, and it’s a miracle if you survive.

The woman recently moved to South Dakota from Minnesota.