The Mathematics Of Blood Alcohol Concentration

1801 Words Mar 6th, 2016 8 Pages
The Mathematics of Blood Alcohol Concentration
As I approached my sixteenth birthday, I began to study for my G1 written test in order to receive my drivers’ licence. While doing a practice test, I came across a statistic that stated, “In the United States in 2013, it was estimated that 10 076 people were killed in crashes that involved one or more drunk drivers and 290 000 people were injured in these accidents ”. I had heard a variation of this statistic many times, however I didn’t truly grasp the magnitude of these numbers until I began to reflect on the effects of driving under the influence. As a potential new driver, I was concerned about the use of alcohol while driving so I began to wonder how toxins, specifically alcohol, react within our bodies. I also wondered how, or even if, this interaction could be represented through the use of mathematical analysis.
In my research I discovered for myself a field known as pharmacokinetics, which is a branch of pharmacology that deals with the interactions of drugs in our bodies. In pharmacokinetics, the interaction of alcohol with the body can be visually represented using a concentration-time graph, where the concentration can be graphed as a function with respect to time in hours. The concentration in this case refers to Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), which is the amount of alcohol in 100 mL of blood with units, mg/100mL, or often expressed as a percent. BAC is a means by which doctors can determine a person’s…
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