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Refusing an Alcohol Breath Test in St. Louis

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the St. Louis Circuit Attorney have instituted a " No Refusal" policy in the City of St. Louis. Under this policy, a driver who has been pulled over and is suspected of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in the City of St. Louis will first be offered the opportunity to submit to a breathalyzer test. However, if a person refuses to submit to a breath test, police officers will now seek a search warrant from a judge to draw the person's blood.

The perception among many people is that they should refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test under any circumstances. While this may be true in certain circumstances and in certain jurisdictions, this isn’t what we routinely recommend, especially in light of this policy change. Unlike many jurisdications in the St. Louis area, when a person refuses a breathalyzer test, a first time offender would likely lose their license for one year. A drastic penalty for most people who work and have to support families. This is true where BAC results are obtained by a blood test as the Department of Revenue still treats it as a refusal. So the practical effect of the new policy will be the longer license suspensions reserved for people who have refused the breath test and the prosecutors still get the BAC results they are seeking.

If you are charged with Driving While Intoxicated in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, St. Charles or Franklin County, give the attorneys at Millikan Wright, LLC a call for a free consultation.

Categories: DWI

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