Discouraging Drunk Driving, St. Louis to Become “No Refusal Zone”

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Think you can sneak out of a DUI in St. Louis? Think again. Starting Monday, the City of St. Louis will be known as a: No Refusal Zone.

Simply put if you are suspected of driving under the influence you can not refuse a breath test (BAC). Up until now, you could abstain.

In a statement by the Circuit Attorney’s Office, if you refuse to take a breath test “the police will seek a search warrant that allows your blood to be drawn and analyzed to determine blood alcohol level.”

Jennifer Joyce said too many impaired drivers have learned how to game the legal system by refusing to submit to field sobriety tests.

BAC test refusal are increasing around the nation, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report to Congress.

National refusal rates ranged from 2.4 percent to 81 percent, with an average refusal rate of 22.4 percent. Joyce said in the City of St. Louis, the refusal rate is over 50 percent.

The new law is designed to reduce fatalities and force impaired drivers to be punished.

A 3:00 p.m. press conference will be held Monday. Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Police Chief Sam Dotson and Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson will be on hand to answer any questions.

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