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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.

Police can smell your breath

One of the most obvious ways a police officer or any other person notices you have been drinking is your breath. When chugging back a few beers with the buddies, they may not get a whiff of the beer oozing from your breath, but that officer who pulls you over will. If an officer smells the alcohol emanating from your breath, you may need to undergo a breathalyzer or blood test.

"Two beers" is rarely just that

When watching a police officer ask the question "how much have you had to drink" on a TV show, you probably predict the driver will say, "two." This assumption comes from the fact that most people automatically answer that they only had two beers or drinks. Officers will take this admission and either call for a DWI officer to evaluate the suspect or initiate a breathalyzer test.

Police officers undergo extensive training to spot the signs of impaired driving. Watching their skills firsthand from the couch should help you recognize what to expect if they ever pull you over - when a person appears diminished, no matter what the level is, there is a particular protocol followed to determine if they are a danger to themselves or others on the road. Everything you do or say could impact what happens next, so it is a good idea to understand your rights before that ever happens.

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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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