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St. Louis authorities step up drunk driving enforcement

Drunk driving crashes seem to have a disproportionate and deadly impact over the Labor Day weekend, in particular. Accordingly, as the final days of summer approach, St. Louis police officials warn that they will have heightened enforcement efforts from August 15 through September 1. In fact, their campaign is called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. 

Although police haven’t released specifics, it is possible that Missouri drivers will be stopped at checkpoints. As a criminal defense attorney knows, checkpoints may seem to circumvent the usual standard required for a traffic stop. However, that does not mean that police can dispense with other procedures. For example, it would be unusual for an officer to require a driver to perform a field sobriety test without first conversing with him or her.

If an arrest does occur, police may request that a driver submit to a chemical test of his or her blood, breath or urine. It is important to remember that the right to an attorney is present at the time of arrest. True, Missouri is an implied consent state, which means that failure to consent to a chemical test may result in license suspension. However, an attorney can explain those consequences in easy terms. For that reason, an accused arrested on a DWI charge should call an attorney for advice.

It is also important to remember that cooperation with the police before an arrest is generally advised. After an arrest, however, an individual should consult with an attorney about preparing a strong defense strategy.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” Aug. 7, 2014

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