Going out for a nice dinner with a loved one or a happy hour is a common way to unwind after a busy workday. Having a cocktail, pint, or glass of wine is also common. Unfortunately, those who get behind the wheel and drive home after this combination can also find themselves part of another group: those police pull over and accuse of drunk driving.
How many drivers do police arrest for drunk driving in Missouri?
If you were pulled over and arrested under suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI), know that you are not alone. Police in Missouri pulled over and arrested over 16,000 drivers in 2018. Although a high number, it is important to point out that this number is relatively small compared to previous years. More than 19,000 were arrested in 2017, and over 20,000 in 2016 and 2015.
The lesson: thousands of Missourians are in a similar situation every single year.
What should I do if I am charged with drunk driving?
We have already established that you are not alone. It is also important to know that anyone can find themselves the subject of these types of allegations. Physicians, engineers, teachers, and even other enforcement officers have found themselves facing allegations of a DWI. Although it helps to know more about others in similar situations, it is also important to take the matter seriously.
It all begins with the stop. Ideally, remain calm and respectful during the stop. It is also important to know that the officer will likely ask questions in an attempt to gather evidence to build a case against you. Know that you have the right to remain silent. We discuss other helpful tips to navigate a traffic stop in more detail here.
After the stop, it is generally wise to reach out to legal counsel. Legal counsel can review your situation and begin building an aggressive defense to the allegations. You have options. The arrest is not the end of the story. Take the time to review the situation and plan your next steps carefully.