Missouri’s Implied Consent Law: What You Need to Know

Kimberly2 1Author:

Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney

DWI Investigations in Missouri

 Regardless of the time of day or year, drivers in Missouri may be pulled over and subjected to DWI investigations.An officer can pull you over if they suspect you are driving while intoxicated or impaired. It is common during a DWI stop for an officer to request that you take a blood, breath, or urine test to determine blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels or to learn the type and amount of drugs in the suspect’s system.You might wonder if you can refuse DWI chemical testing in Missouri. What are the consequences of doing so? What are your rights?In this blog, you will learn more about Missouri’s implied consent law and what it means in regard to DWI tests. 

DWI Chemical Testing & Implied Consent

Under Missouri law, any citizen that operates a vehicle is deemed to have impliedly consented to DWI chemical testing in the following scenarios:

  • The suspect was arrested, and reasonable grounds are present that indicate they were driving while intoxicated.
  • They were involved in a severe or fatal vehicle collision.
  • The suspect is under 21 years old, and reasonable grounds indicate they operated a vehicle with a BAC of at least 0.02%.

In most cases, drivers who refuse chemical testing can’t be forced to take them.  Missouri’s implied consent law allows a driver to refuse the test, but not without consequences.In many cases, the state can impose penalties to discourage test refusals, such as license suspension or other restrictions. 

Refusing a DWI Chemical Testing in Missouri

There are repercussions for refusing DWI chemical testing in Missouri. Here are some possible scenarios: 

One Year License Revocation

In most cases, drivers that refuse a lawful DWI chemical testing request by an officer may face one-year license revocation. Suppose the vehicle operator has prior alcohol-related revocations, suspensions, or DWI convictions. In that case, they may be required to use an ignition interlock device (IID) for a minimum of six months following the revocation.If the driver wants to exert limited driving privileges during a refusal revocation, they might be eligible if they present proof that their vehicle is equipped with an IID. Due to a DWI conviction, revocation and IID requirements are often separated from other criminal consequences. However, they can be imposed even if the defendant’s DWI charge is dismissed. 

Warrant Issued

Although a driver can refuse DWI testing in Missouri, authorities can opt to obtain a warrant to draw blood due to DWI suspicions. When a judge issues the warrant, the driver can’t refuse the testing, and police forces can obtain it even using force if necessary. 

Evidentiary Implications

Another consequence of refusing DWI chemical testing is that it can be used against you in a trial. Many prosecutors consider that refusal as direct proof that the subject wanted to hide the fact that they were indeed intoxicated. 

Why You Should Speak With a DWI Lawyer

Being found guilty of a DWI can have far-reaching consequences, impacting your reputation, your employment, and even your freedom. Having a DWI lawyer by your side can help you understand Missouri’s implied consent law and your rights and possible consequences.Let our skilled DWI attorneys fight for your rights! You have a right to deny DWI testing and fight off its consequences.If you are convicted of a DWI in Missouri, contact the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at Benjamin Law Firm, LLC for a consultation at 816-322-8008.

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