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What happens if I don’t take a Breathalyzer in Missouri?

Getting in a vehicle and driving under the influence is never a good idea; however, it happens. In Missouri, if you are arrested for DUI, it can lead to a suspension of your driver's license. With a first conviction, there will be fines to pay, alcohol education courts to attend and perhaps a stay in the county jail.

When you're stopped by police and they believe you are impaired, the officer will ask you to submit to a Breathalyzer at the scene. What happens if you refuse to take that test that can show what your blood alcohol content is?

You automatically lose your driving privileges for one year; however, if you submit to a list of requirements, your license can be reinstated. You must pay $45 in fees to the court. They will also require you to complete the Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program, or SATOP, and submit the form that proves you completed the course in full.

The authorities want to ensure that you have adequate insurance so you have to show them proof that you have prepaid vehicle insurance for a two-year period. The form is called an SR-22.

You must have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for at least six months after your license has been reinstated. This device will not allow your car to start if you have a blood alcohol concentration of any measurable level. It is connected to your ignition, horn and headlights. If you drive over a certain amount of time, you must re-blow into a tube to prove your blood alcohol content is still .00.

Unfortunately, if you have had more than one DUI, the ignition interlock device is required. It is costly and must be serviced every month.

Are you facing charges of DUI? Having an attorney by your side who can help mitigate the charges can be so invaluable at a time like this. You may want an attorney who know the laws of the state of Missouri and can help guide you through the sometimes confusing elements of the court system.

Source: Missouri Department of Revenue, "Driver Guide" Dec. 09, 2014

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