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How to Tell if Someone has Alcohol Poisoning

Call 9-1-1 if you see someone exhibiting behavior that might indicate alcohol poisoning such as any one of the following symptoms:

  • Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin

  • Unconscious or unable to be roused 

  • Puking repeatedly or uncontrollably

  • Slow or irregular breathing


If someone has any of the symptoms above, call 911 and specify that it’s a medical emergency so the dispatcher sends an ambulance. If you're worried about cost, an ambulance can conduct an assessment to see if the person is okay, and this is free of charge. 


Worried About Getting into Trouble?

Aggies Act

Aggies Act to save lives! Be a friend and make the call. 

If you're calling for a friend experiencing an overdose, the incident will not go on your conduct record. The new Aggies Act protocol allows you to attend a session on how to be safe in situations involving drugs and alcohol in order to receive immunity. Limitations apply, see shcs.ucdavis.edu/aggiesact

CA Assembly Bill 1999

CA-AB 1999 protects persons under 21 from legal repercussions when calling 911 in cases of alcohol poisoning. Learn more about the California Amnesty Law


What to do when someone is very intoxicated 

  • Cut them off from alcohol/other drugs and make sure their friends at the party and anyone serving alcohol knows.
  • Stay with the person. 
  • Try to keep the person sitting up if they are vomiting. If they must lie down, keep the person on their side..
  • If the person is not in need of medical attention and is going to "sleep it off," be sure to lay them on their side and wake them up frequently to check for signs of alcohol poisoning. Even though the person is sleeping, alcohol levels may continue to rise, causing the person to become unconscious, rather than asleep. If at any time you cannot wake the person up, CALL 9-1-1.
  • Remember that calling can save someone's life.