Refusing a Blood or Breath Test During a DWI Stop
Just as most states throughout the country have adopted harsher enforcement policies and penalties relating to driving while intoxicated (DWI), Missouri has also taken a strict stance against those who get behind the wheel under the influence of drugs or alcohol. As part of these more strict DWI policies, the state of Missouri has developed a law regarding the refusal of a chemical test. For those who have been charged with DWI – and for those in the general public – being aware of this law is vital to helping you protect your driving privileges.
When law enforcement officers have reason to believe that a motorist may be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they may ask the driver to perform a series of field sobriety tests. These tests can include walking heel to toe, standing on one leg, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus – a test that tracks the eye's movement. They may also ask a driver to take a breath or blood test to determine the amount of alcohol or the amount of drugs present in a driver's system. Under Missouri law, chemical tests are mandatory. Anyone who refuses to take an alcohol or drug test during a DWI stop will have their driver's license suspended for one year. These one year suspensions are strict and there are generally no exceptions.
Representation During All Stages of the DWI Process
In Missouri, anyone who is pulled over, stopped, and / or arrested for driving under the influence will be subject to two separate sections of Missouri law. One section – the criminal alcohol law – governs the arrest and criminal charge and the other – the administrative alcohol law – relates to an individual's driving privileges. Whatever your particular charge may be, our firm's St. Louis criminal defense attorneys are prepared to review your case and provide you with the experienced, aggressive representation you need during both criminal court proceedings and administrative driver's license hearings.
If you or your loved one refused a chemical test, it does not mean that you are guilty and it certainly does not mean that your charges cannot be beat. By allowing our legal team to investigate all of the circumstances surrounding your arrest, we can work toward determining whether proper protocol was followed by law enforcement officers and toward challenging the prosecution's case. If you would like to learn more about chemical test refusals, your DWI defense, and how our St. Louis DWI attorneys can fight to protect your rights and future, contact The Hammer Law Firm, LLC today.