clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

'About Half the Population Would Be Dead by .48'

Obviously, we try to keep it all about the baseball here, but Neal Rubin's column about former Detroit Tigers radio analyst Lary Sorenson in today's Detroit News had some eye-popping numbers in it.

If you read the story of Sorenson's latest drunk driving episode, you were probably astounded to read that he had a blood alcohol level of .48 - eight times higher than the limit for drunk driving convictions in Michigan. So Rubin found someone who could answer the same question most of us had: How in the hell do you get that drunk?

[...] the alcohol in Sorensen's system represented 24 drinks.

That's two dozen beers, shots, 5-ounce glasses of wine, or some combination thereof. And we also know this: That's only what was left in his system when he was treated at St. John Macomb Hospital for alcohol poisoning.

He had actually guzzled even more.

That last sentence is a stunner. The expert Rubin talked to estimates that the typical person burns off about one drink (or .015) an hour. It's unclear how long Sorenson had been in his car when he was found, but he had likely been there for a while.

Consider these two sentences, also:

Many people would be unconscious by the time they hit .35. About half the population would be dead by .48.

As I wrote when this story broke last week, you have to wonder what Sorenson was really trying to accomplish. Maybe suggesting that he actually had something in mind other than drinking himself into a complete stupor is giving him too much credit. Or maybe the answer is obvious, and I'd just prefer not to write it.