Student BAC Levels Increasing

By Ali Ingersoll

Published 09/03 2014 11:55PM

Updated 09/04 2014 12:19AM

Charges are pending for a 21-year-old Penn State who was found passed out on a sidewalk Sunday night just after 8 p.m. with a BAC of .427.

While the average for Penn Staters is not that high, it is increasing.  Most recently, in July 2014, the average BAC was .264.  Five years ago, during the 2009-2010 school year, the average was .250.

"Alcohol shuts down your body's responses," says Dr. Kaitlin Speer, an emergency room pharmacist at Mount Nittany Medical Center.  "It's going to slow your heart rate, slow your breathing."

The consistently high levels concern doctors.

"These consistent insults on your brain kills brain cells," says Dr. Speer.  "It never comes back."

Servers at local bars say their patrons are consuming more alcohol.

"This fall, it's more - you get more drunkenness," says Madison Salvetti, a server at downtown State College bar.

Salvetti has been working in the restaurant industry since she was in high school.  She says she feels the bars in State College have more patrons getting turned away for being too drunk.

"The bouncers are really good about if you're too drunk, not even letting you in," says Salvetti.  "That has definitely helped a lot."

While servers, like Salvetti, thinks that is helpful, doctors say not even getting to that point is key to staying healthy.

"We see a lot of people enjoying themselves but to the point of that it becomes dangerous and they have to come in here," says Dr. Speer.  "It's just enjoying responsibly."

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