The blood alcohol concentration at post-mortem in 175 fatal cases of alcohol intoxication

Med Sci Law. 1990 Apr;30(2):101-5. doi: 10.1177/002580249003000203.


The mean blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in 175 fatal cases of acute alcohol intoxication was found to be 355 mg/100 ml. This figure is less than that quoted in many standard textbooks on forensic medicine. The BAC in fatal cases of acute alcohol intoxication complicated by aspiration was lower than in those cases where there was no evidence of aspiration at autopsy. In those individuals with a previous history of alcohol abuse the BAC causing death was found to be significantly higher than in those without a history of prolonged heavy alcohol consumption suggesting that a degree of tolerance to the effects of alcohol may be induced.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / blood*
  • Cause of Death*
  • Ethanol / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmortem Changes


  • Ethanol