If you are in an auto accident in Missouri, it might be illegal for you not to submit to a BAC test.
Even if the accident was not your fault, if law enforcement suspects you have been drinking, you can be required to have a breathalyzer or other chemical test.
Missouri is a state that goes by a law called “implied consent.” Having a driver’s license is not a right – it is a privilege according to Missouri Law. With that privilege come certain factors that you have to acquiesce to. One of those is that if you are suspected of being intoxicated while driving, you are obligated to comply with taking a chemical test for alcohol or drugs, or you can be arrested and subjected to fines and penalties. In essence, not complying with taking a chemical test carries the same weight as admitting guilt.
Regardless of who is at fault for an accident, if the police ask you to submit to a test, you have to take it – or you can face immediate suspension of your license, along with other long-term consequences.
What is probable cause?
One reason that a police officer might suspect that you have been drinking and demand that you submit to a chemical test – even if you aren’t at fault for the accident – is if you have an open container of alcohol in the car. Although it’s not illegal to have an open container of alcohol in a car, if you are in an accident, then police officials might have probable cause to ask you to take a chemical test. That is why you might want to think twice if you drank any alcohol before taking it on the go.
Other reasons why they might have probable cause
If you are acting strange, you smell like alcohol, or in any other way alert officials that you might have been drinking, then you may be asked to be tested. There is always the chance in the police officer’s mind that the accident might not have just been caused by one driver. If they suspect that you are driving while under the influence, then they might wonder if you contributed to the accident.
If you are in an accident in Missouri (whether or not you are at fault) and are asked to take a chemical test for DUI, it is imperative that you know what your rights are and that you hire the right representation to defend you against some severe consequences for the future. The best place to start is by hiring a St. Louis defense attorney who specializes in DUI to defend you.