It was 81 minutes past noon when University of Iowa police say student Samantha Lynn Goudie blew a blood-alcohol level of .341. The season-opener between the Hawkeyes and Northern Illinois was more than an hour from kick-off when news stories say she tried to jump onto the field and officers reported arresting her for public intoxication.
But the remaining details of the now-infamously drunk 22-year-old, came from her own tweets from her Twitter handle, @Vodka_Samm:
Just went to jail #yolo
— Samantha (@Vodka_samm) August 31, 2013
Blew a .341 in jail
— Samantha (@Vodka_samm) August 31, 2013
I’m going to get .341 tattooed on me because its so epic
— Samantha (@Vodka_samm) August 31,— Samantha (@Vodka_samm) August 31, 2013
The “drunkest girl in the world” headlines and national notoriety were not lost on University of Iowa President Susan Mason, who Friday told the Des Moines Register “that’s not who we are.”
“It’s sad that one student and one student’s behavior shapes the image of 30,000 other students,” Mason told the newspaper. “I feel very, very concerned about the young student that had that level of alcohol in her blood. I’m very concerned for her health, safety and well-being.
“There’s no doubt that there’s a problem there.”
That Goudie was conscious and breathing was fairly astonishing that Aug. 31 afternoon, experts say. Medically speaking, a BAC of .35 may be lethal. Coroners said pop singer Amy Winehouse accidentally died of alcohol poisoning with a BAC of .416.
As the fall school year resumes, concerns endure about widespread student drinking, which studies have shown to cause medical problems such as developmental delays, memory loss and, as reported earlier this year by Addiction Treatment Magazine, brain damage.
Some sobering figures about the impact of student alcohol consumption include the fact that 42% of college students admit to binge drinking,which is the rapid drinking of large amounts of alcohol. Other alarming figures: half of all frequent binge drinkers report at least five alcohol-related problems during the school year (20 times the rate of student drinkers who do not binge); 30,000 people between 18 and 25 years of age are treated yearly at emergency rooms for alcohol-related injuries. And 1,835 college students each year die of alcohol-related injuries, including those from vehicle accidents.
Binge drinking can be defined in men as the consumption of five or more alcoholic drinks in two hours, and, in women, four or more drinks in two hours. Standard measurements for one drink are defined as any of the following: a 12-ounce beer, a 12-ounce wine cooler, a five-ounce glass of wine, or a 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof whiskey, vodka or gin.
‘Just One More …’
While it was not known what Goudie was drinking before the football game, her blood- alcohol level of .341 and other indicators suggest a high tolerance for alcohol , said Dr. David Sack, addiction psychiatrist and CEO of Promises Treatment Centers. Sack said that such a BAC would mean a woman of 120 pounds had about nine drinks in an hour. Goudie, at 5’5″, weighed just 111 pounds, according to the police report.
“Just one more could’ve brought her BAC over .35 – the point at which drinkers are apt to stop breathing,” Sack said. “If she made a night of her partying, spreading her drinks out over four or five hours, she likely had 10 or 11 drinks…. She’s lucky to be alive.
“With a BAC of .341, how was Goudie conscious and, by police accounts, no more than ‘unsteady on her feet?’ Given the videos surfacing online and her Twitter alias @Vodka_Samm, there’s a good chance that she has been drinking heavily for quite some time and, at 22, has developed a high tolerance to alcohol,” he said.
A startling description of a .35 blood alcohol level, which Goudie’s allegedly neared, can be found on the Cal State Bakersfield student counseling center website, which pulls no punches: “This blood-alcohol level also happens to be the level of surgical anesthesia. You may stop breathing at this point.
In February 1996, a student, age 20, “died of alcohol poisoning with a BAL of .34% after drinking six beers and twelve shots in two hours.”
Booking photo of Samantha Lynn Goudie courtesy University of Iowa Department of Public Safety