DWI / DUI FAQs
Here is a list of frequently asked questions to DWI attorneys.
Question: What is reasonably expected of any Missouri DWI lawyer to know about when making a defense in a Missouri DWI case?
A: You should make sure to ask any lawyer you are thinking about hiring the following questions:
- Do they know the standards for a Missouri field sobriety test?
- Do they know the particulars of how a breath analyzer works?
- Has that lawyer ever actually been inside a jail to witness DWI processing taking place.
QUESTION: What do Missouri police officers tend to look at when identifying possible DWI drivers?
A: Law officers look for non-standard operation of motor vehicles which include:
- Driving with a turn signal on for long periods of time
- Driving without headlights on at night
- Going more than 10 miles an hour below the posted speed limit
- Breaking or accelerating in a rapid fashion
- Wide or sudden turns
- Riding on the center line or fog line on a road or highway
- Abrupt swerving or lane changes
- Not moving for an extended period of time after a traffic light turns green
QUESTION: If I am pulled over for suspicion of a DWI offense in Missouri do I have to take a field sobriety test.
A: Absolutely not, a field sobriety test is not mandatory by law and may actually violate your rights under the law. As a matter of fact, most Missouri DWI attorneys feel they are too subjective a test in nature and recommend their clients never agree to take one. Be aware that in some cases failure to take a field sobriety test may be used against you but that evidence is probably not as harmful as what can be done with the results if you fail the test.
Lawyers also caution against drivers feeling they are composed enough to beat a field sobriety test; statistics show quite the opposite is true.
QUESTION: Once I have been pulled over on suspicion of a DWI offense, what will a Missouri arresting officer look for?
A: The list itself would fill many pages but here are some of the more common things the officer will look for. Remember, these are highly trained professionals who deal with these situations on a repeated basis, so be cooperative and say as little as possible if you are stopped by them.
- Flushing red face
- Bloodshot eyes
- Smell of alcohol
- Excessive squinting of the eyes
- Slurred speech
- Aggressive behavior
- Having to brace yourself on your vehicle in order to not fall down
- Stumbling or walking as if off balance
- The appearance of being disorientated
QUESTION: If I am stopped should I submit to a breathalyzer, blood alcohol or urine test?
A: This is a difficult question to answer simply because both a yes or no answer comes with repercussions. If you refuse the test you most likely will have your licensed revoked for a period of one year if the officer has other evidence to support his decision to arrest you and then you refused to submit to one of these tests.
With that being said, if you are pretty sure you will test over .08 on any of the tests, it is probably easier to live without your license for a year than the other repercussions that come with a DWI or DUI conviction.
These and other questions can best be answered either on the phone or in person during a consultation with a competent Missouri DWI attorney.