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Driver charged with DWI in crash that caused power outage

According to police, a Missouri man was allegedly driving under the influence when he crashed his car into two utility poles and caused a power outage in Cape Girardeau. Police responded to the accident scene at the intersection of New Madrid and Henderson streets around 1 a.m., but the driver was not there. The outage caused by the alleged drunk driver affected 130 Ameren Missouri customers at its peak.

The male driver, along with two passengers, was found at a residence close by following an investigation. One of the two passengers had suffered moderate injuries and went to a local hospital for treatment. The second passenger suffered minor injuries. The driver was taken into custody and charged with felony leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving injury, felony assault 2nd degree and DWI resulting in injury.

This story did not mention whether the defendant provided a blood or breath sample for blood alcohol content. Many DUI cases rest upon evidence such as blood or breath test results. If a defendant refuses to submit to a test in the state of Missouri, the state will revoke his or her driver's license, and the evidence of a refusal might be used against a defendant in court.

On the other hand, if the test has been delayed, it might be possible for a defense lawyer to make the argument that the results are not an accurate reflection of a defendant's BAC at the time he or she was behind the wheel. If a defendant does not wish to risk a conviction at trial, there might be the option to accept a plea agreement. For example, a defendant may offer to plead guilty or enter an alcohol treatment program in exchange for some leniency.

Source: Missouri Department of Revenue, "Refusal to Submit to an Alcohol and/or Drug Test"

Source: KFVS, "Cape Girardeau power outage caused by crash, driver facing DUI charge", Jen Baird, January 24, 2014

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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