Breaking News: Amy Winehouse’s Blood Alcohol Level In

British coroner Suzanne Greenaway is now reporting that Amy Winehouse’s blood alcohol level was more than five times the legal limit at the time of the soul diva’s death. The official cause of death is listed as “death as misadventure.”

Her personal physician, Dr. Christina Romete, had reported that although Winehouse had been sober, she began to drink heavily in the days before her death.

An earlier toxicology report stated that there were no illegal drugs detected in the singer’s blood at the time of her death in July.

Effects At Specific Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Levels

The effects of alcohol intoxication are greatly influenced by individual variations among users. Some users may become intoxicated at a much lower Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level than is shown.

0.02-0.03 BAC: No loss of coordination, slight euphoria and loss of shyness. Depressant effects are not apparent. Mildly relaxed and maybe a little lightheaded.

0.04-0.06 BAC: Feeling of well-being, relaxation, lower inhibitions, sensation of warmth. Euphoria. Some minor impairment of reasoning and memory, lowering of caution. Your behavior may become exaggerated and emotions intensified (Good emotions are better, bad emotions are worse)

0.07-0.09 BAC: Slight impairment of balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing. Euphoria. Judgment and self-control are reduced, and caution, reason and memory are impaired, .08 is legally impaired and it is illegal to drive at this level. You will probably believe that you are functioning better than you really are.

0.10-0.125 BAC: Significant impairment of motor coordination and loss of good judgment. Speech may be slurred; balance, vision, reaction time and hearing will be impaired. Euphoria.

0.13-0.15 BAC: Gross motor impairment and lack of physical control. Blurred vision and major loss of balance. Euphoria is reduced and dysphoria (anxiety, restlessness) is beginning to appear. Judgment and perception are severely impaired.

0.16-0.19 BAC: Dysphoria predominates, nausea may appear. The drinker has the appearance of a “sloppy drunk.”

0.20 BAC: Feeling dazed, confused or otherwise disoriented. May need help to stand or walk. If you injure yourself you may not feel the pain. Some people experience nausea and vomiting at this level. The gag reflex is impaired and you can choke if you do vomit. Blackouts are likely at this level so you may not remember what has happened.

0.25 BAC: All mental, physical and sensory functions are severely impaired. Increased risk of asphyxiation from choking on vomit and of seriously injuring yourself by falls or other accidents.

0.30 BAC: STUPOR. You have little comprehension of where you are. You may pass out suddenly and be difficult to awaken.

0.35 BAC: Coma is possible. This is the level of surgical anesthesia.

0.40 BAC and up: Onset of coma, and possible death due to respiratory arrest.

A BAC of greater than 0.4 put Winehouse in the “death by respiratory arrest” zone. This may answer the medical question of how she died, but the question of  what drove her to start drinking heavily again will never be answered.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

2 Comments

  1. John McLean

    October 27, 2011 at 6:00 am

    What the hell are you guys talking about? The whole shocking bit was that she had NOTHING in her system at the time of death!!!!!!!! Get your story straight!!!!!! I really think you guys need a blood test!!!!!

    • Dr. M

      October 27, 2011 at 7:34 pm

      Sorry John, but Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning. The original blood work was only for illegal drugs.

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