Staying in your Green Zone
What is my 'green zone'?
You're in your green zone when you have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) below .05, the average person is in their green zone when having about 2-3 drinks over about 1-2 hours. To find out your personal BAC and how many drinks over how much time will allow you to keep your BAC in the green zone, check out BloodAlcoholCalculator.org^ or download the Blood Alcohol Concentration Calculator to your iPhone^. For more information on the green zone and an explanation of the graph below, please check out the bi-phasic effects of alcohol.
What are the advantages to staying in my green zone?
Staying in your green zone is referred to as lower-risk drinking, meaning you are less likely to experience the possible negative consequences of alcohol. Keeping your BAC around a .05 allows you to experience the enjoyable effects of alcohol, such as having slightly more energy, a warm feeling, and that 'good buzz'; a BAC of about a .05 also allows you to avoid many of the negative consequences such as hangovers, vomiting, memory loss, passing out, blackouts, alcohol poisoning, etc. Keep in mind that at a BAC of a .05 you will lose some motor control and you are NOT in a condition to drive. An additional benefit of staying in your green zone is that you don't spend nearly as much money!
How do I stay in my green zone?
Once you determine how to reach a BAC of about a .05, you can maintain those desired effects by having one drink an hour. The nice part of this is that you don't have to 'nurse' a drink all night or abstain from drinking; you still get to have several drinks while avoiding many of the unwanted consequences!
Green means go, so I just keep going, right?
In this case, green doesn't mean keep going, it means you're in a safer BAC range and you're less likely to have those negative consequences-it's not a stoplight color-scheme, so it's not a good idea to just drink and drink.
What happens if I pass my green zone?
The higher your BAC, the more severe the negative consequences, such as loss of coordination and motor control, memory loss, impaired judgement, blackouts, vomiting, alcohol poisoning, etc. To see a detailed chart that matches up your BAC to symptoms and to learn some facts about tolerance, click here.
*Please note: OPEN is in no way encouraging or giving you permission to drink, especially if you are under 21 years old. However, if you make the decision to drink, we want to provide you with as much information as possible so you can make informed and healthy decisions.
^Please note: There is no BAC calculator that is 100% accurate because of the number of factors that affect consumption and reduction (burnoff) rates of different people. These factors include amount of food in the stomach when drinking, medications or drugs that may be in the system, metabolism rates, etc. The best that can be done is a rough estimate of BAC based on the information provided. OPEN provides this link for your information and for the benefit of the Northeastern community. OPEN does not testify to, sponsor, or endorse the accuracy of the information provided on any externally linked pageFor more information, check out our alcohol brochure.