Interim NIOSH Training for Emergency Responders: Reducing Risks Associated with Long Work Hours

Impaired performance from lack of sleep mimics alcohol intoxication
  • Being awake for 17 hours is similar to having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05% (the level some countries use for drunk driving violations).
  • Being awake for 24 hours is similar to having a BAC of 0.10% (above the U.S. drunk driving level of 0.08.
Impaired performance from lack of sleep mimics alcohol intoxication

Warning: For someone who has been awake for long hours, consuming even a small amount of alcohol reduces performance further. Don’t drink any alcohol when you are sleep-deprived if you need to drive or if you need to perform other critical tasks.

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Page last reviewed: April 1, 2020