St. Louis “No Refusal Zone”

According to Missouri Implied Consent law, you must submit to a breath test if you are lawfully stopped  by police and suspected for driving drunk. If you refuse, your drivers license is suspended/revoked for one year. In the past this left police and prosecutors with less evidence and good defense attorneys aggressively fighting over zealous cops.

Blood tests were once rare or seen only in serious accident DWI cases, but not anymore. In Missouri they have become common place in DWI cases, especially when the driver refuses to blow. St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Police Chief Sam Dotson and Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson planned a press conference Monday afternoon to announce a “No Refusal Zone” across St. Louis. They will announce their plan to take each individual who refuses to take a breath test to a local hospital to have their blood tested for alcohol. Police will have to obtain a search warrant for each of these cases.

St. Louis is not the first local jurisdiction to implement this  strategy. Franklin and St. Charles Counties have been doing this for some time now.

If you or someone you care about is forced to submit to a blood test for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, a good criminal defense lawyer may still be able to help. Law enforcement routinely make mistakes in procedures used during these types of traffic stops. A quality DWI attorney will find those mistakes and make sure they are not overlooked in court. With a good DWI lawyer, you can fight your charges and possibly even get them dropped.

Source:, “St. Louis to become a DUI ‘No Refusal Zone'”, Kim Hudson, December 30, 2013

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