Missouri county announces no-refusal DWI checkpoints - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Missouri county announces no-refusal DWI checkpoints

ST. PETERS, MO (KFVS) -

One Missouri county has announced no-refusal DWI checkpoints, and it's possible that other statewide counties will do the same.

According to a press release, in November 2014, Greene County, Missouri announced that no-refusal DWI checkpoints will be created throughout the county.

It allows police to force DWI suspects to give blood samples through the use of warrants.

St. Louis police declared the whole city a no-refusal zone for New Year's Eve 2013, and then made the policy permanent throughout the city beginning January 1, 2014.

“People really need to understand how the no-refusal policy works and what their rights are, because these tests are very invasive,” commented DWI attorney Charlie James. “While it is important that police do what they can to keep our streets safe, they also need to protect each citizen's right to privacy and due process.”

According to Law Firm Newswire, if a driver refuses a breathalyzer test, the police can arrest that driver, obtain a warrant quickly and force him or her to give a blood sample. Actually, the policy seeks to take away a driver's ability to refuse a blood alcohol test.

“In order for the police to forcibly draw blood, they still have to get a warrant,” James said. “And refusing a breathalyzer is not adequate evidence of intoxication for a warrant. The police must also have other evidence of intoxication, such as slurred speech or erratic driving, to get that warrant.”

So far, no court has challenged the validity of this program, according to the news release.

Missouri is one of nine states implementing no-refusal DWI programs, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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