Drinking and Driving Laws in Missouri. It is illegal in the State of Missouri to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above. The limit is lower for commercial drivers and drivers under the age of 21. In Missouri a DUI is a DWI, meaning “Driving While Intoxicated”
The only guaranteed way to not get a DWI sentencing is to not drive, get a cab. However, if you do choose to drink and drive, there are a few things you can do to help you out in that situation.
This article does not condone drinking and driving under any circumstance; rather; this article gives advice to those whom find themselves in a situation where they are under the influence of alcohol while driving and get pulled over.
In the event you get pulled over in St. Louis while intoxicated (even a slight amount) there are 3 things you can do:
- Reserve your right to silence
- Do Not Incriminate Yourself
- Do Not Submit to Field Sobriety Tests
Reserve Your Right to Silence
Reserving your right to silence is not something that only given to you after arrested? You are not legally bound to answer any questions from the officer other than to hand over your license, proof of insurance and, perhaps your vehicle registration.
Not keeping quiet can lead the officer to smell alcohol on your breath or make you divulge information that can later be used against you. To be clear, remaining silent or answering only “I have nothing to say,” does not mean that you have to be rude. It is also important to note that if you start off exercising your right to remain silent, you should stay the course and not switch it up in the middle of the stop, regardless of how the officers’ demeanor changes.
Do Not Incriminate Yourself
One of the biggest mistakes drivers make is admitting that they have had anything to drink that day. Once you admit that you have had one or more alcoholic beverages before driving, you have just incriminated yourself, waving a constitutional right that you have under the 5th Amendment. A large part of due process is the officer’s job to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are indeed under the influence of alcohol. The second part is to determine how much.
If you incriminate yourself by say you had something, anything to drink, you have done yourself a disservice that could affect you in more ways than one.
Do Not Submit to Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are used by police officers to determine if someone who appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, is actually under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The issue is that there is no objective or definitive “pass” or “fail” criteria. The real truth is, if a field sobriety test is asked to be performed, more than likely, the officer already thinks you are guilty and is just looking for more proof; and because there is no definitive pass or fail criteria, you will always fail.