Should You Blow?
One of the hardest questions you'll face if you are under arrest for DWI in Missouri is whether or not you will submit to a chemical test (blow in the breath test). THE FIRST THING YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN ASKED TO SUBMIT TO A BREATH, BLOOD, OR URINE TEST AS THE RESULT OF A DWI ARREST IS TO ASK TO SPEAK WITH A LAWYER. The officer should give you 20 minutes to contact a lawyer before making you answer the question. Refusing to answer the question at that point is considered a refusal to blow. YOU SHOULD USE EVERY MINUTE OF THAT 20 MINUTE PERIOD ATTEMPTING TO CONTACT A LAWYER. But, if you CANNOT CONTACT ONE—READ ON
SO, Do I Blow or Not??
Here’s the thing: if there was a right answer to this question, you would already know it. Every lawyer that ever deals with DWI cases would be shouting it from the roof tops. Like how we all say “don’t answer any questions without your lawyer present” (lots of people don’t follow good advice, so there’s no harm in us shouting it from the roof tops—we’ll still get plenty of business from the hard-headed ones).
The truth is, there is no right answer unless you definitely, for-sure have not been drinking at all, in which case, I say blow away! Prove your innocence! Just make sure that if you have ANY medical issues that could possibly in any fathomable way result in a false positive that you let the officer know about them before you blow so that they are documented. But in most cases, if you’re being asked to blow, both of your options have negative consequences.
The facts are:
If you blow and there is alcohol in your system, the result of your test will be used:
- To suspend your license for at least 90 days if you are at or over .08% for a regular driver, at or over .04% for a commercial driver, and at or over .02% if you are under 21 years old, AND
- As evidence of intoxication in the criminal case against you.
- If you REFUSE to blow:
- Your license will be revoked for one year for refusing unless your attorney can maybe work something out with the prosecuting attorney (see more about this slim possibility on our license case page)or there are good facts that allow them to win the case, AND
- Evidence of your refusal will be used as a presumption of intoxication in the criminal case against you, AND
- IT IS POSSIBLE the officer will apply for a warrant to draw your blood anyway , which will give them additional evidence of your intoxication for your criminal case AND, if it is over the legal limit your license will also be suspended under the administrative alcohol suspension laws in addition to the one year refusal revocation. IF YOU ALREADY KNOW THE OFFICER IS PLANNING TO GET A WARRANT FOR A BLOOD DRAW IF YOU REFUSE (this is almost always the case in Franklin County, Missouri and frequently the officer will let you know that it is what s/he is planning to do), you may be slightly better off just submitting to the test no matter what your other circumstances UNLESS they can’t get a hold of the judge to get a warrant OR they’re bluffing. This does sometimes happen, but that’s a real dice roll. Go ahead and read through the rest, but if you know s/he’s planning on applying for a warrant if you refuse, just put a little extra weight on the side of the scale that says “go ahead and blow.”
Great question! And good news, I’ve got some answers , but first, you have to read this:
I AM NOT YOUR LAWYER. I DO NOT KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND IN NO WAY SHOULD THE THINGS YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ BE CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE. It is simply a list of things for you to consider if any of the following circumstances apply to you. There may be other circumstances that apply to you that are not considered here. IF YOU WANT ME TO BE YOUR LAWYER AND GIVE YOU LEGAL ADVICE—GIVE ME A CALL AND WE CAN GO THROUGH ALL THE NECESSARY STEPS TO GET TO THAT POINT, BUT WE’RE NOT THERE YET.
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