Missouri Jury DWI Verdict Demonstrates Consequences of Sobriety Test Refusal
Sep 11, 2014
St. Peters, MO, (Law Firm Newswire) September 11, 2014 – A jury in Greene County has found a Springfield man guilty of driving while intoxicated, considering his refusals to provide a breath sample to police among the evidence.
The accused, Steven Souter, hit another vehicle with his truck at a red light and then refused police requests for field sobriety tests and breath samples. Under Missouri law, a driver’s refusal to provide a blood, breath, saliva or urine sample to the police can be presented to a jury or judge as evidence of intoxication.
“The decision to take or to refuse a breathalyzer is complicated in Missouri, with numerous consequences either way,” remarked Charlie James, a Missouri DWI attorney not associated with the case. “The best decision is unique to the person and his or her legal history, but this case certainly illustrates one of the most serious potential ramifications of a refusal.”
The jury referred to a wide range of facts about the case in order to reach its decision. The jury was also asked to deliver a sentencing recommendation, hearing additional evidence after delivering the guilty verdict. In this case, the jury recommended the maximum sentence of a $500 fine in addition to six months in county jail.
James added, “Many Missouri drivers do not realize that once a police officer asks for consent to a chemical test, the driver is allowed 20 minutes to call or consult with an attorney. Because of the serious legal consequences of the decision, all drivers should try to contact an attorney for advice if possible.” He noted that if drivers are unable to reach an attorney within the 20 minute window, they are not allowed to delay their decision further.
The case in question is State of Missouri v. Steven R. Souter, 1331-CR06315-01, in the 31st Judicial Circuit Court.
Learn more at http://www.jameslawgroup.net/.
James Law Group, LLC
14 Richmond Center Court
St. Peters, MO 63376
Toll Free: 800.229.7112
- Identifying signs of unintentional nursing home neglect
Nursing home neglect is not always intentional. It is easy to imagine those who would mistreat elders as malicious or unbalanced. But kind, considerate caregivers who lack training can endanger patients through inadvertent neglect. A cheerful and pleasant caregiver does not always guarantee the safety of a long-term care resident in his or her charge. […]
- Causation standard for Missouri workers’ comp retaliation claims lowered
A new decision from the Missouri Supreme Court will make it easier for employees to succeed in a claim of workers’ compensation retaliation. According to the ruling, an employee need only show that the filing of the claim was a contributory factor in a dismissal or unfavorable job action. Previously, claimants in Missouri needed to […]
- State Settles with Insurance Firms over Workers’ Compensation Irregularities
An insurance business truism: insurance companies love to collect money, but they detest parting with it. And a prominent January settlement between the Missouri Department of Insurance and two insurance companies certainly backed up the truth behind the stereotype. State insurance regulators settled with EMCASCO Insurance Company and Employers Mutual Casualty Company after examiners found […]
- Missouri Marijuana Legalization Could Save Millions and Reduce Incarceration State-Wide
Mere talk of medical marijuana legalization has some Missouri lawmakers scurrying; the state government is now preemptively passing resolutions to record the position of opposing local governments. While medical or recreational legalization of the drug in the Show Me State may remain unlikely for the present moment, it is far more certain that legalized marijuana […]
- As Missouri Case Shows, Stand Your Ground May Not Prove Relevant Defense
So-called “stand your ground” laws have received much national attention, especially after one such law was invoked in George Zimmerman’s successful defense (State of Florida v. Zimmerman) relating to Trayvon Martin’s death in February 2012. But at least one case in Missouri has demonstrated that killings can be deemed justified on broader, more complex grounds […]