Everything You Need to Know About Missouri Implied Consent Law
Missouri’s implied consent law plays a key role in many DWI cases. This comprehensive overview covers everything you need to know.
Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney
January 24. 2022.
Missouri’s Implied Consent Law
According to Missouri’s implied consent statute, refusing to submit to a breath or blood test after a reasonable request from police leads to presumptive one-year license revocation. Under the statute, when you opt to drive on state roads, you grant “implied agreement” to submit to alcohol tests.
What Does the Implied Consent Law Require You to Do?
When a person signed the documents to apply for a driver’s license, they agreed to submit to chemical testing to assess their blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) if law enforcement officials requested it.
Breath, blood, and urine testing are all examples of chemical testing. A breath test can be administered anywhere, but blood and urine testing can only be done at a medical facility or a correctional facility, according to Missouri implied consent law.
Who Does the Implied Consent Law Apply To?
Drivers give consent to practical sobriety testing and chemical tests to establish impairment under the implied consent laws in all states when they apply for a driver’s license.
Suppose a driver refuses to submit to testing when an arresting officer reasonably suspects that the driver is impaired. In that case, the driver faces automatic license revocation and additional sanctions.
The penalties for refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test vary by state, which may explain the considerable variation in statewide refusal rates. However, most jurisdictions impose an automatic six- or 12-month driver’s license suspension for refusing a BAC test. Suspensions typically increase for a refusal motorist with a history of DUI offenses and may include jail time. Your vehicle insurance company may cancel your policy if your license is suspended due to a refusal.
If you were accused of driving while intoxicated in Missouri, the best course of action is to hire a lawyer from a respectable law firm. At the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center, you can get the help of an experienced attorney to aid you in your case and fight for your rights!
Our trusted lawyers in Kansas City have favorably resolved countless DWI cases. Contact our law firm at 816-281-0941 right away for a free consultation on your case, or send us a secure email.
What Happens if I Refuse a Breathalyzer?
To the driver’s best advantage, it is normal to comply with the request of the officers and produce a sample of breath because the driver may be able to pass the chemical test.
Low breathalyzer readings could be eligible for reduced charges if they are obtained through a breath test.
When a driver refuses to take a breath test, the defense will address the following issues:
- Did the accused have a lawful reason to refuse?
- Did the police have a right or grounds to demand a breathalyzer test?
- Did the accused fail to provide the breath test to the police officer without lawful authority?
- Did the accused understand the implications of refusing the test?
A driver has the option to refuse a breathalyzer test if they so desire. You cannot be forcefully compelled to take a breathalyzer test. If the driver refuses to take the breath test, the police might arrest them with the crime of “Refusing a Breathalyzer Test.”
The punishment for refusing the blood alcohol test is the same as if the driver took and failed the test. While you can respectfully refuse to take a chemical test or a field sobriety test to ascertain your level of intoxication, there are consequences. Your defense attorney will try to get any sanctions for this reduced. Still, a police officer knows that most people comply when they don’t know what the chemical test results will indicate, but they do know that there are consequences for refusing.
If You Refuse to Take a Chemical Test When Directed to Do So by a Police Officer
If you refuse to take the alcohol or chemical test, your Missouri driver’s license will be suspended for one year. This is referred to as a “Chemical Revocation.”
The following are some of the possible consequences of refusing DWI chemical testing in Missouri.
Revocation of the license
Drivers who ignore an officer’s authorized request to take a breath, blood test, or urine test face a one-year license suspension. Suppose the driver has any past alcohol-related regulatory contacts (alcohol-related suspensions and revocations, as well as DWI convictions). In that case, the revocation will be followed by a six-month ignition interlock device (IID) requirement.
To be eligible for restricted driving privileges throughout a refusal revocation, the driver must show documentation that all cars they plan to drive have an IID.
The revocation and IID requirements are distinct from any criminal penalties imposed due to a DWI conviction and can be applied even if the DWI accusation is eventually dismissed. If you refused a chemical test near Jackson and need legal advice, our lawyers in Jackson County, MO, will be able to help you.
Uses in court
Many drivers are adamant that a DWI cannot be demonstrated in the absence of a good chemical test. On the other hand, a driver can be convicted of DWI based on an excessive BAC or being truly under the influence (impaired) of alcohol or any drug.
As a result, a driver’s refusal to consent to a test might be used against them at trial as proof of impairment. While rejection does not establish intoxication, prosecutors frequently claim that refusal indicates the accused was attempting to conceal intoxication.
When a driver refuses to submit to testing, authorities can still get a warrant to draw blood. If a judge issues a warrant, the motorist no longer has the right to decline to test. If you were forcefully tested near Grandview, our lawyers in Grandview, MO, are prepared to seek justice for your case!
Regaining Your Driver’s License
Even after the one-year suspension term expires, you must still complete additional processes before the state reinstates your driver’s license.
You must also complete a Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program class in addition to paying a $45 reinstatement fee to the Missouri Department of Revenue. You will also need to install an IID if you have more than one “law enforcement contact” linked to alcohol or drugs.
Refusing to undergo a breathalyzer test might cost you $1,000 or more in fines and penalties, not to mention the annoyance of sacrificing your unrestrained driving privileges.
Missouri Breathalyzer Laws
In Missouri, the drunk driving legislation prevents a person from driving if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is.08 percent or above. Even if it is your first violation, courts must order the placement and supervision of an ignition interlock for just any driver with a BAC of .08 percent or greater.
Missouri law, especially when it comes to consent, is tricky, and this is why you will need legal help on your side. Contact the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at 816-281-0941 or send us an email, and receive a free consultation on your case.
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.