DWI or DUI
Missouri State law prohibits driving while in an intoxicated or
drugged condition. Many municipalities in the St. Louis area have criminalized the same conduct but called
it Driving under the Influence .
There are two types of laws that will affect the Missouri DWI offender.
Criminal law is what most people first think of. The charge of DWI is a criminal charge. The ramifications of a
criminal charge are potentially going to jail, being fined, both, or probation. For an outline of the criminal
process, please see that section (jump link to criminal law).
Administrative law is the other area of law in a DWI case. Missouri
law disciplines people's driving privileges in this arena for a couple of reasons. A breath sample of .08 or
greater will result in a license discipline. The length and nature of this discipline varies depending on the
individual's past record and other circumstances specific to that individual's record. One's driving privileges
will also be disciplined for refusing to take a breath test. This is an area of law that changes often.
FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS
One of the first observations made by a police officer to help determine
intoxication is a series of physical tests called field sobriety tests. There are a few standard FST's. The one leg
stand test requires the individual to stand on one foot without balancing with their arms. The heel to toe test
requires one to walk a line and touch your heel to toe each step. Both of these tests require a demonstration of
physical prowess that most people are incapable of. Performing these two tests is virtually impossible often times
by sober, athletic people.
The law does not require people to take these tests and there is no
punishment or license discipline for refusing these tests. The horizontal gaze nystagmus test is an exam of pupil
movement. This is the test where the police officer asks you to follow a pen or his or her finger without moving
your head. This test bears some opthamological credibility. Just like the other tests, there is no legal ramification
to refuse this test.
For an interesting link on FST's go to:
The Highway Safety Desk Book
The Drink Wheel
On-Line BrAC Calculator
We represent people charged with DWI and DUI in all state courts in the area,
municipal courts and federal court. The various jurisdictions handle cases differently. We are familiar with how all
of the municipalities and other courts handle alcohol cases. If you would like to make an appointment to contact us to
discuss your case, please feel free to call or email us.
Email Schwartz & Schwartz
314. 863. 4444