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Opening Day may leave you open to per se DWI

Opening Day at Busch Stadium occurs on Thursday, April 4 this year, and it is a great time to get together with like-minded fans.

However, all the excitement of a new season could lead to excessive drinking. Do you know how much is too much and how that relates to "per se DWI?"

What it is

Per se DWI is a term that refers to a blood alcohol concentration level that, by law, renders you too intoxicated to drive safely. For example, on your way home from the game, a police officer may pull you over because you are driving erratically. Once you are in custody, you must take a breath test to determine your blood alcohol concentration level: The legal limit for drivers is a BAC of 0.08 percent.

How alcohol affects you

An alcoholic drink affects everyone differently, but the results mainly depend on your weight and gender. A woman will become intoxicated more quickly than a man. However, here are examples of intoxication levels based on a man who weighs 150 pounds as compared with one who weighs 200.

The 150-pound man

After having one standard drink, a man who weighs 150 pounds will have a BAC of 0.03 percent. It will take two hours for his blood alcohol concentration level to return to 0.00. If he consumes three alcoholic beverages and drinks them over a period of an hour, his BAC will be 0.08 percent and it will take five hours for his BAC to return to 0.00.

The 200-pound man

For a 200-pound man, one drink will produce a blood alcohol level of 0.02 percent, which will return to 0.00 after two hours. If he has three drinks, his BAC will be 0.06 percent. It will take four hours for his blood alcohol concentration level to return to 0.00.

When trouble begins

For most people, the noticeable effects of alcohol begin after the third drink, at which point it becomes more difficult to make rational decisions. Perception, alertness, and coordination will suffer impairment; in other words, activities such as driving become risky. Knowing how alcohol affects your abilities may cause you to make some adjustments to your plans for Opening Day--and for the drive home afterward.

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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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