News & Wins

Class C Felony DWI with Reported BAC of Nearly Three Times Legal Limit

Here, the driver was operating a motorized bicycle on a gravel driveway, lost control, and was severely injured. The driver was unconscious when the police arrived. Based on the odor of intoxicants coming from the driver’s breath, and a statement to the officer by a witness who claimed that driver had drank a lot at the bar prior to the accident, the driver was arrested in the back of an ambulance and charged with DWI.    

Although ambulance personnel were on the scene who could have performed a forensically reliable blood draw under Missouri’s Implied Consent Law for an unconscious driver, no such request was made by investigating officer. Even after the driver woke up in ambulance, the officer did not ask the driver for a blood sample. In addition, the investigating officer could have asked the driver to submit to a blood test at two different hospitals, when he was conscious, but again, did not do so. Finally, a judge was never requested to issue a warrant for driver’s blood, but instead, it was decided to simply subpoena the blood testing records for the hospital. However, driver’s expert explained that hospital blood testing records are merely screening tests, and were never intended for use as legal evidence is a criminal trial. Given the many legal issues with the case, a plea bargain was reached, and the charge was amended to a Class B Misdemeanor. The driver then received a suspended imposition of sentence, which is not a “conviction” under Missouri Law. While driver agreed to serve some “shock time” in the County jail, driver did not suffer any loss of driving privileges, and avoided a felony conviction.