The Basics Of DUI In Kansas And Missouri
The very first moments after a DUI stop are critical for motorists who have been pulled over by police. Officers may make you feel like you have no choice but to tell them everything about your night, and comply with all of their requests. In reality, you do have rights, and you need to make sure that you are doing everything you can to protect yourself.
In Kansas and Missouri, law enforcement takes a very aggressive approach toward drunk driving. Police have substantial resources at their disposal to conduct DUI patrols in areas where there is a high volume of vehicle traffic.
At Richard T. Bryant & Associates, P.C., we see many motorists who have been charged with DUI making the same mistakes time and time again. We wanted to tell you some basic information that you can use to your advantage if you have been stopped by police or have been charged with a DUI.
You can refuse to perform field sobriety tests
During the traffic stop, the officer is doing everything possible to gather evidence to support his or her suspicion that you are under the influence. They might ask you questions, and if you refuse to answer, the interaction will not come to an end. Police may request that you perform field sobriety tests, and you do have the right to decline these requests.
This could be to your advantage, because if you agree to their demands, they will often have videotaped evidence to use against you. Refusing to participate probably means that you will be arrested; but, you may have a much better opportunity to challenge the charges against you.
You may refuse a blood or breath test – but there will be consequences
Kansas and Missouri are implied consent states. This means that if asked to take a blood or breath test by an officer as part of a DUI stop, you will agree to that request. This is an agreement you make for the privilege of driving on state roadways. If you refuse, your license will automatically be suspended, and the officer may seek a warrant to compel you to submit to the test. If you refuse to take the breath or blood test and the officer gives you paperwork suspending your license, you must file for an administrative review hearing immediately or risk the loss of your driving privilege for one year or longer.
Strong penalties apply if convicted, even if under 21
For motorists under the age of 21, they are subject to very strict laws regarding the presence of alcohol or drugs in their system. If you are under 21 and pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence, you face a very lengthy license suspension, as well as other penalties that could haunt you for the rest of your life. You may be unable to work in certain professionals, and will have to pay increased insurance costs that can run thousands of dollars if convicted.
If arrested, you have to challenge the suspension of your license
After a DUI arrest, you have a very limited amount of time to protect your rights. Most people focus on the criminal aspect of a DUI case, but you cannot neglect the administrative phase of the process. The DMV provides you with an opportunity to challenge the suspension of your license, but only if you request a hearing to do so. If you waive this request, you are in essence agreeing with the decision to suspend your license. You must take immediate action to ensure that you receive a fair hearing regarding this suspension.
Do Not Take DUI Charges Lightly. Put An Experienced Lawyer On Your Side.
To arrange your consultation to discuss your case with our attorney, please call our office at 816-399-5218 or send us an email. We represent individuals who have been charged with DUI throughout the Kansas City metro area.