Let’s start by saying that you shouldn’t drink and drive. Aside from putting the safety and well being of yourself and others at risk, the penalties for DUI in Missouri can be pretty steep. They include potentially losing your license and steep fines. Drinking and driving is never a good idea. The legal limit in in Missouri is a blood alcohol content of 0.08%. It is a simple enough number, but in reality it can be difficult to know how much alcohol it takes to put any individual over that limit. Should you find yourself on the wrong end of the law there are several things you should remember.
Top Seven Things To Remember When Facing A DUI In Missouri
There is nothing more nerve racking then seeing flashing lights in your rear view mirror, especially if you have had a drink before driving. What do you do? There are several things to remember if you are pulled over for DUI in Missouri.
- First things first, as soon as it is safe, pull over. Use your blinker to indicate your intention and stop completely. Once stopped, turn off your engine and put your hands on the steering wheel. If it is dark outside, turn on your dome light so the police officer can see you clearly.
- Stay in the car. Remember that the police officer pulling you over can’t read minds and don’t know your intent. Getting out of the car can be seen as an act of aggression and escalate the situation further.
- Know that you are being watched. Many police vehicles are equipped with video surveillance that turn on automatically during traffic stops. Even without video surveillance, the officer will be playing close attention to your behavior for the report. Stay calm and don’t act suspicious. Do not throw anything from the car or act strangely as your actions can be used against you later.
- Keep your license and registration readily at hand. You don’t want to have to dig through piles of paper or root through a glove box for your car insurance. Not having this documentation could lead to more charges. You should always know where your important documentation is located in your vehicle.
- Be cooperative, within reason. It is natural to feel nervous when you are pulled over. It is also natural to be overly talkative in these situations. It is important not to turn a tense situation into a worse one, so be polite to the police officer and cooperate with their instructions when possible. Be courteous but admit to nothing. Remember your right to remain silent as every interaction with the police office can be used against you. Never lie to the police, but remember that you do not have to answer their questions either.
- Think carefully about roadside sobriety tests and breathalyzer testing. A police officer may ask you to exit the vehicle and walk in a straight line or touch your nose while walking. In the state of Missouri you are not obligated to take the field sobriety tests, although you are obligated by law to take the blood-alcohol content (BAC) test. Missouri has implied consent laws, which means that once you acquire your licence you are consent to BAC testing. Refusing to take the test will automatically result in a suspended license and an immediate arrest. Taking the test has its own consequences as it may show that you have more alcohol in your system than is legally allowed, resulting in a suspension of your license and immediate arrest. Attorneys are torn on whether or not you should submit to a BAC test. But one thing is certain, when you find yourself in legal trouble…
- Ask for an attorney. If you have been pulled over for DUI in Missouri or for any criminal infraction do not hesitate to exercise your right to a lawyer. Often the right attorney can help negotiate a reduction of the charges, in some cases getting them dropped in their entirety. Don’t try to navigate the criminal justice system alone.
The law offices of Daniel Diemer are happy to talk to you about your case. If you have been charged with a crime contact the criminal law firm of Daniel Diemer today.