Iowa Man's 'Astronomically High' Blood-Alcohol Level Baffles Local Officials
A North Liberty man was arrested in late July with a blood-alcohol content twice the lethal dose. Several Johnson County officials say they have never seen an alcohol level recorded so high.
OUTSIDE IOWA CITY -- A local man, who lived despite recording a blood alcohol content twice the lethal (not legal) limit, may now have the dubious distinction of being the most intoxicated person ever arrested in Johnson County.
Justin A. Clark, 24, of North Liberty, was arrested July 29 after North Liberty police received reports of a driver colliding with curbs and attempting to rev up his engine.
Clark was sitting in the driver’s seat and was unable to answer any of the officer’s questions, police said. He also was unable to get out of the vehicle, walk or perform field sobriety tests, police said.
Police said when they asked Clark where he thought he was, he said he was at home, and when they asked him what day it was, he replied, “Three, but now it is four.”
Initially, tests showed his blood alcohol level at .486. When tested at the hospital later, Clark's alcohol content level in his blood was rated at twice the lethal amount of .3, and almost eight times the legal drinking and driving limit. At that time it was .627.
Vanessa Miller of the Gazette spoke with a health expert who said that the fact that Clark survived this is amazing.
Michael Takacs, clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine and an emergency room doctor at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, said 0.627 percent is higher than any level he’s seen during his eight years in the field.
At that level, Takacs said, a person would have to go to the intensive care unit and would be at risk of losing heart and respiratory functions.
“That’s astronomically high, and the highest I’ve ever heard of,” Takacs said. “For even the most seasoned alcoholic, 0.627 would be a lethal dose possibly.”
Officials in several branches of law enforcement, health care and the county prosecutor are among those who say it is the highest blood alcohol level they've ever seen.
Clark does not have a listed telephone number, and could not be reached for comment.
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