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Woman's BAC a time of death was 4 times limit

Jul 28, 2017 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Mary S. Perry, 21, died June 29 of acute alcohol poisoning.

A young woman who died last month during a social gathering in Riverton had a blood-alcohol content of .351 according to her toxicology report.

Officials said Mary S. Perry, 21, died June 29 of acute alcohol poisoning.

Under Wyoming law, the legal limit for intoxication is a BAC of .08, meaning Perry's level was four times larger.

Chief deputy coroner Erin Ivie noted "the totality of the circumstances," including the condition of Perry's liver when it was examined during her autopsy.

"There were multiple signs that showed she had been drinking for quite some time," Ivie said Friday. "It was not a new issue."

Regardless, Ivie continued, it wasn't alcoholism specifically that killed Perry. Instead, alcoholism - rather than an isolated "binge drinking episode" - was the cause of the high level of alcohol in Perry's system at the time of her death.

It was the alcohol level itself that killed Perry, Ivie said.

"You get to a lethal level where your body just can't handle anymore," Ivie said. "And for her, being only 21 years old, she's ... very young for a .35."

The cause of death is listed as an accident, she continued. By contrast, Ivie said, incidents involving chronic alcoholics who die of health issues related to their drinking habits are listed as "natural," due to cirrhosis, liver failure or cerebral atrophy, for example.

The Riverton Police Department responded at about 9:10 p.m. June 29 to reports that Perry had died during a small social gathering in the 300 block of North 12th Street East. The initial call was regarding a female subject who was "blue in color" and "not breathing."

Officers at the scene performed cardio pulmonary resuscitation until an ambulance arrived and transported Perry to SageWest Health Care at Riverton, according to reports.

Officials said everyone at the gathering was over 21, and no foul play was suspected.

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