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Roadside DWI breath tests and Missouri’s implied consent law

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2022 | DWI Info |

Motorists violating a traffic law may find themselves pulled over by a Missouri highway patrol officer. If an individual displays signs of intoxication, an officer may request a field sobriety test. Refusing to perform a one-leg stand may not result in penalties.

With reasonable evidence of a motorist driving while intoxicated, however, an officer may request a roadside breath test. As noted by WebMD, a portable device may reveal whether an individual’s blood alcohol content level exceeds the legal amount of 0.08%.

Certain factors may influence breath test results

Roadside breath test devices may not provide accurate BAC levels. The reliability of instant test results may depend on whether an officer recalibrated the device or replaced its batteries. Software glitches may also lead to breath test device errors.

Individuals typically provide breath samples by blowing into a mouthpiece connected to the testing device. Breath test readings, however, may show false positives if an individual had a drink within 15 minutes of the officer’s stop. Products containing alcohol, such as mouthwash, may also alter an individual’s breath test results.

Missouri’s implied consent law may require a chemical test submission

In some cases, an officer may arrest an individual and request a blood or urine sample for a chemical test. As noted by the Missouri Department of Revenue’s website, failing to submit to a chemical test may violate the state’s implied consent law. A chemical test refusal could result in a one-year driver’s license suspension.

Law enforcement officials may stop motorists for violating a traffic rule. If an individual appears intoxicated, an officer may ask for a breath sample or request a chemical test submission. Although roadside electronic breath tests may not always provide accurate results, if the device reading shows an illegal BAC, an officer may arrest a motorist on a DWI charge.