St. Louis police will seek search warrants to test blood

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Just in time for New Years Eve, police are changing the rules. They say too many people skirt a DWI charge and now city leaders are putting a stop to it, by testing a driver's blood.

It's called the "no refusal zone"

The announcement came from the Circuit Attorney's office in conjunction with St. Louis police and fire departments. The "no refusal zone" is effective immediately.

There are some places in Missouri that are already "no refusal zones," including places in Buchanan, Christian and Platte Counties.

Police Chief Sam Dotson says the new rule will help keep the roads safe.

Here's how it works.

If police suspect you of driving drunk and you refuse to take a breath test, police will get a search warrant and take your blood checking for alcohol.

Before this change, refusing to take that breath test meant losing your license for a year, but you would avoid getting a DWI on your record.

Circuit attorney Jennifer Joyce says 50 percent of drivers refuse the breath test and that's just in the city.

Now you have no choice in the matter.

In the past police officers were able to go to the prosecutor and ask for a search warrant, but Joyce says that mainly happened in more serious situations.

This change starts immediately and is permanent.


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