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What to avoid doing at DWI checkpoints

Sobriety checkpoints are a useful tool for police to use to keep drunk drivers off the road. They are helpful and aid in reducing the number of people who die each year as a result of drunk driving. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 3,300 people died in drunk driving incidents in Missouri between 2003 and 2012.

In addition to death and injuries, many people have their lives upended as a result of a DWI. Many of these come from sobriety checkpoints when police discover a person drank too much. Regardless of how much you have had to drink, there are certain actions to avoid during these interactions.

Enjoy Oktoberfest without a DWI

Oktoberfest celebrations have not ended yet! There are still festivities going on around the St. Louis area if you have not been able to attend any yet or want to hit up more. Before you head out, however, do some planning first to ensure you do not end up with a DWI. After all, drinking delicious beer is a cornerstone of any Oktoberfest celebration.

Missouri penalties for a DWI are severe and far-reaching, so take your preparation seriously so you can both enjoy the fun and stay out of legal trouble.

What you need to know about sobriety checkpoints

Also called a DWI roadblock, a sobriety checkpoint is a temporary setup that law enforcement uses to catch possible drunk drivers. You could come upon one of these at any time, but such installations are popular during holidays such as Labor Day when there are many social functions complete with alcoholic beverages.

If you have never stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, here is what you can expect when you see flashing lights and a string of cars up ahead.

How taking medications can lead to a DUI/DWI charge

Many people in Missouri are well aware that they are only a few drinks away from a DWI. But not many of them realize that use of store-bought medications and prescriptions drugs can lead to DWI charges too. Some medications produce side effects that can make completely sober people appear and act intoxicated. Their actions behind the wheel may mimic those of drunk motorists.

You may undergo sobriety field checks if the police pull you over on suspicion of intoxication. Even if you have a valid prescription for your medications, your field sobriety test results, statements and actions could still lead law enforcement to believe you were drinking before you got behind the wheel. Learn how prescription medications can result in DWI charges so you can do what is necessary to avoid them in the future. 

Statute of limitations for DWI charges can be years

When Missouri authorities arrest a driver for DWI, it may mean the start of a potentially lengthy duration of legal activity without filed charges at that time. A police investigation is often the start of that action.

However, eventually, the authorities will determine if and when they have sufficient evidence to bring charges against the suspect. It can be many months or even years before law enforcement brings charges, leaving a possible suspect in limbo as to whether he or she will have to defend charges.

Shrugging off the consequences of binge drinking and driving

Your think your teenager only drinks alcohol once in a while (with your permission), such as during a family celebration. However, it may be a different story when Susie or Sam is off partying with friends.

According to 2015 data compiled by the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, as many as one in seven teens participates in binge drinking, but only one in 100 parents are aware that this is going on. Binge drinking can lead to disaster if the inebriated teenager gets behind the wheel of a car.

Passengers' poor judgment is preventable

In Missouri, warm weather holidays can bring wonderful celebrations that include socializing, great food and great drinks. Be it Labor Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day or any other celebratory holiday, America loves to celebrate with alcohol.

Sometimes, however, celebratory inclinations get the better of a person, and he or she drinks too much and hops behind the wheel. Just as worrisome is that often, a non-driving person will also jump into the vehicle of that drunk driver.

How Many Drinks Does It Take To Get To .08?

Driving under the influence of alcohol is still a serious problem in Missouri. While Mothers Against Drunk Driving reported that the number of people arrested for DUI has decreased in the state, many still end up getting arrested or worse.

This problem could be reduced if more people understood just how little it takes to send someone over the 0.08 limit. Numerous factors affect a person's blood alcohol content, so nothing can be stated with certainty. However, there are guidelines so the public can have a better idea of how much is too much.

Understand the difference in a DWI and DUI in Missouri

If you face charges of driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence in Missouri, you may be wondering what the difference is between the two and how it may affect your case. Even if you faced these charges before or are familiar with the differences in another state, it may be beneficial to review them for the state of Missouri, seeing as the regulations are different depending upon which state you are in.

According to Missouri law, there is no significant difference between a DWI and a DUI. However, DWI is the most common terminology for someone who is driving under the influence of any type of alcohol. If the records show the driver has a blood alcohol level at or higher than 0.08 percent, or a driver under the age has a blood alcohol content of 0.02 or more, that person will most likely face DWI charges. According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, depending upon your number of convictions and circumstances of the accident, you may face various penalties.

If you have been drinking and police want you to pull over

Perhaps this has happened to you before. You have been at a bar or at a friend’s house and enjoyed a few beers. You felt fine to drive, so you hit the road. However, halfway through the drive, the sight of police sirens in your rearview mirror gave you a start. Fortunately, the sirens have always passed you.

But what if they do not pass one day? What if your brake lights are out or you have been weaving as you drive? Here are a few tips on how to handle the situation if there is an insistent police car behind you.

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