Understanding Missouri’s implied consent law

Here at the Law Offices of Dee Wampler & Joseph Passanise in Springfield, Missouri, we represent many people accused of DWI. We also represent many people who failed a blood-alcohol concentration test, a/k/a BAC test, or refused to take one when law enforcement officers asked them to do so.

What you may not realize, but what the Missouri Department of Revenue explains, is that when you applied for your Missouri driver’s license, you also gave your implied consent to take any field sobriety and/or chemical test officers may request you to take in order to determine whether or not you really were impaired while driving. In other words, while no one specifically asked you “Do you agree to take such tests if officers request you to do so?” the very fact that you got your driver’s license means that you impliedly agreed to take these tests in an alleged DWI situation.

Losing your license

Bear in mind that officers cannot force you to take a BAC or other test. You have the right to refuse. However, if you exercise that right, the Driver’s License Bureau will automatically revoke your driver’s license for one year. This is an administrative revocation, not a court-ordered one. You have the right to appeal this chemical revocation, but you must do so very quickly. You must file a petition in the Circuit or Associate Circuit Court of the county in which your traffic stop and/or arrest took place within 30 days from the date on which the State issues the Notice of Revocation.

If you fail to appeal, or if the court denies your appeal, you then must serve out your revocation before getting your driver’s license back. You may, however, be able to get Limited Driving Privileges during your revocation period that allow you to drive to work, school, etc. if you meet certain conditions and requirements.

For further information, please visit this page of our website.