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Having a BAC under 0.08 may not be enough to avoid trouble

Ask Missouri residents what BAC level can lead to a DWI charge or other issues such as driver's license suspension, and the answer will probably be at least 0.08. That is for a good reason. After all, 0.08 is the "magic" number in many situations -- but not all.

So, it is good to be aware of circumstances in which you could get in trouble for having a BAC that is lower than 0.08. In general, if you are at least 21 years old and do not have a commercial driver's license, the 0.08 standard applies to you.

You are younger than 21

Many of the drivers on the roads are younger than 21. They may have been able to get married and to serve in the military for a few years already, but that does not mean they can legally drink like adults 21 and older can. In fact, a mere 0.02 BAC is enough for license suspension. Get a second offense, and you could lose your license for one year. If it happens that your BAC is at least 0.08, you would face the hefty penalties that your 21-and-over counterparts might.

You have a CDL

The state puts a certain degree of trust in people who hold a commercial driver's license. Thus, they can get in trouble with a 0.04 BAC. This is true even when they are driving their personal cars. Moreover, if you are driving a commercial vehicle, there should be no alcohol in your system. So, one mistake such as forgetting that you had three beers instead of two and getting behind the wheel of your car can lead to devastating consequences such as job loss if you hold a CDL.

It does not take much alcohol at all to reach the 0.02 and 0.04 thresholds (the same goes for 0.08, too), and quite a few DWI cases and arrests are flawed. An attorney can help look out for you.

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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