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  • Evan M. Howard

Celebrating Too Much: 4th of July DWI

4th of July DWI

With the 4th of July holiday coming up, make sure you are not one of the many St. Louis residents who will be arrested for a DWI over the holiday weekend.

This year the 4th of July is on a Tuesday, throwing a kink in all of our party plans! Hopefully, your boss is nice enough to give you Wednesday off to recover, but with the holiday being on Tuesday you will more than likely have a long weekend filled with friends, family and alcohol. That being said, if you’re driving, don’t take your partying too far.

In Missouri a person is guilty of driving with excessive blood alcohol content if you are caught driving your vehicle with a blood alcohol content of eight-hundredths of one percent (0.08) or more. RSMo. § 577.012.

If you’re one of those unlucky drivers to get pulled over, or if you are completely sober and get pulled over, your mind will be racing and wondering “should I take the tests when he officer asks?” "Should I take the breathalyzer?" Generally, if you ask an attorney he or she will tell you NO! Do not take the field sobriety tests when the officer asks you if you’d be “willing” to take them. Do not take the breathalyzer. Here is why:

  1. The Field Sobriety Tests are designed to make you fail;

  2. The officer will imply to you they are required;

  3. The officer will most likely lead you to believe your license will be suspended if you don’t comply;

  4. Even if you pass, that doesn’t mean you won’t be arrested; 

  5. You’re not required to take the tests; and

Doing the Tests and the Breathalyzer will only give the officer additional evidence against you. 

What is the officer looking for when he stops you?

Officers are trained to look for signs of intoxication through the scent of alcohol, presence of an open alcoholic container in your vehicle, erratic driving, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. If the officer stops you and, after speaking with you, asks you to get out of the car that means he already thinks you’re driving drunk. He will then ask you to perform a series of Field Sobriety Tests followed by the Breathalyzer. 

If he already believes you’re drunk, why is he asking you to perform those tests? Because he is trying to obtain evidence against you! So why give it to him? The Field Sobriety Test consists of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, One-Leg Stand Test and the Walk and Turn Test. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration gives officers detailed instructions on how to administer these tests, and unfortunately for the officer, despite all of these instructions, they usually fail at administering the Tests. The Tests themselves are also fairly ineffective, especially when they are administered correctly!

Be safe this weekend and remember not to drink and drive! If you have been accused of driving while intoxicated, you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible; timing is everything once you’ve been arrested. Contact Howard Law at (314) 325-9868 for immediate 24/7 assistance. By Missouri Law you are legally allowed 20 minutes to consult with an attorney after being asked to perform the Field Sobriety Tests and the Breathalyzer. Contact Howard Law at (314) 325-9868 for that consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

For more information on the DWI Process in Missouri read:

The DWI Process in Missouri. Part 1: The Calm Before Storm.

The DWI Process in Missouri. Part 2: The DWI Stop.

The DWI Process in Missouri. Part 3: The Field Sobriety Test.

The DWI Process in Missouri. Part 4: The Breathalyzer Test.

About The Author

Evan M. Howard is the managing attorney for Howard Law, a St. Louis business law and criminal defense law firm based in Clayton, Missouri. Howard Law is focused on giving honest, quick and effective representation to all of its clients. With a background in business and experience dealing with tough criminal cases, Howard Law is ready to help guide you through your legal matter.

This post is meant to be for information purposes only and does in no way form an attorney-client relationship between the reader and the author. Contact an attorney for specific legal questions pertaining to your case. 

#StLouisCriminalDefenseAttorney #StLouisCriminalDefenseLawyer #MissouriCriminalDefenseLawyer #MissouriCriminalDefenseAttorney #StLouisDWILawyer #StLouisDWIAttorney #MissouriDWIAttorney #MissouriDWILawyer

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