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Fight a DWI charge, and you can help protect your future

You and your friends love football season. It's not just a game, it's a way of life for you. Every time there is a game, you head down to the local sports bar, have a few beers, watch the game and then head home.

Lately, there have been many more officers around the bar, and you've noticed more people getting pulled over. Still, you felt like you were safe from that, because you'd only ever had a few drinks before heading out. Unfortunately, you were wrong.

The last time you went out, your luck ran out. An officer stopped you (and you're not sure why). They asked for a breath sample, and it turned out that your BAC was .08% on the nose. A second test came back at .07%, so you aren't sure if the higher number is really fair. What do you do?

Understand that the .08% limit is a per-se limit

To start with, the .08% limit is a per-se limit. What that means is that the officer needs no further evidence of intoxication if you're at or above .08% BAC. If the officer asked you to perform additional tests, such as the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, then they may have collected additional evidence of impairment needed at court.

If the officer's evidence isn't good and you can show that your BAC was below .08%, then there is a chance of defending yourself and having the charges dropped or lowered.

Is a bar liable if they serve too much alcohol and let you leave?

To a certain degree, yes. If you are obviously impaired but the bartender continues to serve you alcohol without taking your keys, calling you a cab or preventing you from leaving, then it may be held liable. In some cases, bars have lost their licenses because of overserving alcohol.

What should you do to prevent DWIs in the future?

You can, and should, fight this DWI. If you want to prevent having to do so again in the future, then you should remember that there are alternatives to drinking and driving. Today, there are many almost instant services such as Lyft and Uber, which have drivers who can take you home. There are also cabs, public transportation systems and others who can get you home safely. It's simply never worth the risk of a DWI, since a DWI could impact you well into the future.

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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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