What alcohol level is incompatible with life? I guess it depends on your age, your tolerance, your liver function. In ERs we see the worst of the worst chronic drunks. Like the people who are conscious and can eat a sandwich at .445. Unbelieveable. These are the kind of people who never probably go below .20 if they can help it. Every day their goal is .44, however they can get there.
These are the people you see at the freeway exits and entrances with the signs about being homeless. I have often wondered, how much can they really be making standing there? Not that much. I mean most people are irritated by them more than anything. But then they probably don't need that much. A cheap bottle of booze probably costs a few dollars. If they're desperate there is always rubbing alcohol. It is just unimagineable to be so addicted to alcohol that you will pour just about anything down your throat that contains alcohol. Its pathetic.
Sometimes I wonder, who could they have been if they hadn't fallen into addiction? I'm sure most of them die at a young age. I would guess a lot die due to violence. Its a rough life out there trying to get that daily bottle. In my state there is no law against public drunkenness. We have 2-3 detox centers. When those are full the drunks come to the local emergency rooms. The county hospital has a specific area for them. All the other ERs just find a room.
Thousands and thousands of dollars are spent every year on these people. They aren't the kind of people you are going to help. All you can do is let them sleep it off and stagger out the door to start a new day of searching for that bottle. For the average person, a high level of alcohol in their blood is incompatible with life.
A college student in a town about an hour from here found that out the hard way. She died after doing 21 shots on her 21st birthday. The ironic thing is she was a nursing student.