Attorney: One word in law could cause DWI cases to be tossed - KMOV.com

Attorney: One word in law could cause DWI cases to be tossed

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A St. Charles attorney said many cases being brought against those accused of a DWI could be tossed out because of one word in a Missouri law.

DWI defense attorney Michael Carter says a Breathalyzer test is one valuable piece of evidence in a DWI case. Carter said a law dealing with DWIs in Missouri says if a suspected drunk driver refuses to take a Breathalyzer test, he or she will ‘immediately’ lose their license for a year.

However, Carter tells News 4 suspects have 15 days before their license is revoked, adding what the word ‘immediately’ means is the center of  debate. Carter says if a suspected drunk driver were to lose their license right away, it would change their thinking on the Breathalyzer test.

“It actually prejudices your decision-making process,” said Carter.

Becky Haley with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) said the argument presented by Carter is a creative tactic that attorneys may use to serve their clients.

“We understand that that is their job, but at the same time, we want to keep our roadways safe,” Haley said.

Carter said he believes a lawyer citing ambiguity over the word ‘immediately’ would not be a way for an attorney to take advantage of the system for his or her client.

“I don’t think it’s a lawyer taking advantage of the system. It’s a lawyer saying it is much too easy to lose your license in Missouri and other states. If you’re gonna make it that easy to lose your license, do it correctly and fairly,” Carter said.

Carter said if the law is challenged in court it could affect thousands of drivers.

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