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Mistakes DWI defendants often make

A DWI conviction can seriously upend your life. That is especially true if you already have a criminal record, such as one woman from Otterville whom police arrested on suspicion of DWI on Feb. 5. The woman was already on probation for a felony drug possession charge from 2016 and could face more jail time from a conviction. 

Defendants of DWI charges should never resign themselves to high fines and possible jail time. You can still fight the charges to try to avoid the conviction or attempt to get the charges reduced. As you await your trial date, you should never make the following mistakes. 

Opening Day may leave you open to per se DWI

Opening Day at Busch Stadium occurs on Thursday, April 4 this year, and it is a great time to get together with like-minded fans.

However, all the excitement of a new season could lead to excessive drinking. Do you know how much is too much and how that relates to “per se DWI?”

Choose a designated driver before going out

Baseball season is on the horizon, hockey is in full swing and the Super Bowl is right around the corner. All of these events call for time spent with friends between bars, stadiums and homes. Before you attend a sporting event, no matter where, you should know who your designated driver is.

Your chances of getting pulled over for a DWI around St. Louis increase during major sporting events. If you think you can kick back a couple of cold ones without garnering a DWI charge, think again.

The "Live PD" effect on drunk driving

You may find yourself pondering what level your blood alcohol content is at any given time during your night out on the town, or you may not think about it until it is too late. It happens frequently in St. Louis that police pull people over on suspicion of DWI, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when more people spend the night out on the town. Police are especially vigilant in light of the heavy toll drunk driving takes on Missouri citizens.

You may have taken note of how officers justify and respond to DWI traffic stops on a television show such as "Cops" and "Live PD." You may have to decide if having that third beer puts you in jeopardy of getting home safely or not.

What can go wrong with a breath test for BAC?

Like many people, you may slip behind the wheel after enjoying a glass of wine at dinner or a couple of beers with friends and feel that you have no problem driving.

Recently, however, you saw a driver taking a breath test at the side of the road. This made you wonder about breath tests in general. Are they foolproof in determining blood alcohol content? Should you submit to one if law enforcement pulls you over?

What you need to know about sobriety checkpoints

Few things are more rattling than seeing flashing lights in your rear-view mirror after a few beers or a couple cocktails. For that reason, you regularly take steps to avoid drinking and driving. Still, many motorists in the St. Louis area find themselves behind the wheel after a night on the town. 

Missouri law allows law enforcement personnel to establish sobriety checkpoints. Rather than looking for signs a specific driver may have had too much to drink, officers at these checkpoints screen every motorist on the road for drunk driving. Before you come across a sobriety checkpoint, you should know a few things about this enforcement approach. 

Various types of DWI offenders

With many holidays right around the corner, Missouri law enforcement will be particularly vigilant of unsafe driving behavior. One St. Louis man experienced this firsthand over Thanksgiving weekend when the cops arrested him on suspicion of DWI and having a firearm in his possession after a previous felony conviction. 

Not all DWI charges are equal, though. The possible penalties on the table ultimately come down to a variety of factors, including which type of DWI a person end up with. The type of DWI offender someone is will affect what type of defense has the best potential to work. 

How can a DWI conviction affect my life?

Once you receive a DWI conviction in Missouri, it is likely that your life will change forever. Not only may you spend considerable time in jail or prison and have to pay large fines, but your conviction can have additional fallout. For instance, you may lose your driving privileges by having your driver’s licence suspended or revoked. Depending upon the circumstances of your conviction, it may take you years and a good deal of money to get your license back.

Another major way in which your DWI conviction can negatively impact your life is the effect it can have on your future employment. Unfortunately, many prospective employers see a criminal conviction, for DWI or otherwise, as a black mark against your character. They may well give the job to another applicant who has the same qualifications as you do, but who has an unblemished record. In addition, if your preferred job requires a license, the licensing board may decline to grant you one.

What are DWI courts in Missouri?

The state of Missouri has taken several steps through the years to strengthen its laws on drunk driving and driving while intoxicated, or DWI. In one law, the state implemented a measure setting up a DWI court.

DWI courts offer people with repeat DWI charges a multi-pronged approach to dealing with alcohol addiction. The program requires offenders to follow certain steps that aim to keep them and others safe on the roads. Understanding DWI courts is important if this is not the first time police arrest you for DWI, so you can determine whether to ask your criminal defense attorney if this is an option in your case.

Signs police look for to tell if you are under the influence

Many people question the legality and validity of DWI checkpoints. The reasoning is that the police essentially pull drivers over when there is no suspicion an individual is under the influence of alcohol. However, even if courts end up limiting the scope of these checkpoints, the police still maintain vigilant eyes on potentially intoxicated drivers. 

Drunk driving is a serious offense and can lead to jail time and massive fines even if it is a person's first run-in with the law. It is useful to understand what signs police officers search for. In the event of an arrest for DWI, knowing the reason the officers pulled the vehicle over can aid with the defense. 

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