What To Know About Breath-Test & Blood-Test Refusal

Anyone who obtains a Missouri driver’s license is subject to the state’s implied consent laws. This means that by accepting licensure, you are also agreeing to submit to chemical testing (breath, blood or urine) if such testing is requested by a police officer.

You have the right to refuse testing, but doing so will generally mean losing your license for a year. This raises a difficult question: Is it better to refuse the test and potentially spare yourself DWI charges (while losing your license), or take the test and possibly get charged with and convicted of drunk driving?

Should I Refuse A Breath Or Blood Test?

A good DWI lawyer will never give a blanket answer to this question (and you probably shouldn’t trust a lawyer who does). Context is highly important, and the advice depends on the answers to about 40 different questions. A small sample includes:

  • What county are you in?
  • Which law enforcement agency pulled you over?
  • Do you have any prior DWIs in Missouri?
  • Have you been drinking or taking drugs? If so, when and how much?

Certain counties offer diversion of revocation as the result of test refusal, meaning that it may be possible to refuse a test and not lose your license. There is typically no diversion for the DWI charges themselves, though.

There are also no-refusal counties (and they change from time to time). If you refuse a chemical test in one of these counties, you can lose your license with no chance for diversion. Good attorneys — like those at our firm — know how to fight these practices and protect our clients’ licenses.


Contact Us Today For A Free Consultation

The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center is located in Belton and serves clients throughout the Kansas City metro area. To take advantage of a free initial consultation about your DWI charges or related license matters, call us at 816-281-0941. You can also reach us via email.

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BAC Calculator


If you have been drinking, use our "Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Calculator"to estimate your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) before you drive, but please keep in mind that the information it provides is just an estimate and may not be inaccurate.

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Kansas City Office

701 East 63rd Street

Suite 300

Kansas City, MO 64110

Kansas City Office

1475 Walnut Street

Kansas City, MO 64106


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Belton Office

8427 Clint Drive

Belton, MO 64012

Phone: 816-281-0941