Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC
Phone: 816-318-7943
Offices in Kansas City and Belton, Missouri

DWI defendants may face roadside blood tests

Missouri residents may be concerned that police are increasingly drawing blood from motorists stopped under suspicion of driving under the influence. As police more frequently charge motorists with driving under the influence of drugs like marijuana, rather than alcohol, a typical breath test may uncover nothing at all. Now, police can seek a warrant immediately, often via electronic transmission, to allow them to collect blood from a driver stopped on the roadside. The process of obtaining a warrant from a judge can take as little as 10 minutes.

Some police vehicles are equipped with a phlebotomist's station for drawing blood. After a blood draw, people suspected of DWI are generally booked and ticketed for the offense. In order for them to be found guilty, a lab report will need to confirm the results of the mobile police test. As an increasing number of states legalize cannabis, some have claimed that the number of drugged drivers is going up. There is no portable, non-invasive machine that allows police to test a driver for signs of non-alcoholic intoxication.

However, defense attorneys and others point out that there is no reliable standard to determine when someone is under the influence of a narcotic. This is especially true for less potent drugs like cannabis; although, police argue that poor driving or roadside sobriety tests can back up the results of a blood test. Opponents note that people have been injured due to poorly trained police officers conducting blood tests.

Those who are facing charges for driving while intoxicated might face significant consequences, including hefty fines and jail time. However, a defendant may retain a criminal defense lawyer who could defend their rights before trial or in court.

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Belton, Missouri 64012

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