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St. Louis' "No Refusal Zone" Means Cops Can Get Warrants For Your Blood Faster and Easier

Categories: Crime

st louis police.jpg
There will be blood.
City of St. Louis cops and prosecutors got tired of people exercising their Fourth Amendment right during DWI arrests by refusing to take Breathalyzer tests without a warrant, so they have created a "No Refusal Zone" where the warrants for blood are obtained almost automatically.

The new measures have been enacted because "too many drunken drivers have learned to game the legal system by refusing to cooperate with field-sobriety tests," according to a press release from the Circuit Attorney's Office.

The statement added that the refusal rate is more than 50 percent in the city.

Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce tells Daily RFT that the process is pretty much just like it was before: Once a driver is suspected of being drunk, a cop will collect some facts such as weaving, reeking of alcohol or passing out at a red light, he or she will be arrested for a DWI.

The only difference is that if the driver refuses to take a Breathalyzer test, the warrant process to draw blood will be expedited.

jennifer_joyce.jpg
Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce

"If there's probable cause to arrest you for a DWI, that's the amount of probable cause for a Breathalyzer, and that's the amount of probable cause required for a search warrant," Joyce says.

She adds: "What the search warrant procedure does is it gets a judge right then and there to see if they agree with the police officer, and it gets a prosecutor right then and there to see if they agree with the police officer."

Getting quicker and easier access to blood tests will undoubtedly make it easier to prosecute accused drunk drivers. In addition, prosecutors are allowed to bring up the fact that the accused refused to voluntarily take a Breathalyzer test.

"No Refusal" policies are not rare. Many counties across the country enact this strategy around popular drunk-driving times of the year such as Labor Day, Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. But Daily RFT has not found another major American city where "No Refusal" is a permanent policy. We'll update if we do.

See also: Poll: Would You Pork this Pig to Escape a DUI?

People online have been critical of the approach, calling it a violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

Click on the next page to read some angry tweets about the No Refusal Zone...



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73 comments
Deb Woods
Deb Woods

This is bullshit. But the problem isn't drunk driving. If the cop says he thinks you are impaired then you are impaired. They then forcibly seize your blood & who knows what crooked lab they are using to generate false positives. You have no control over that. Furthermore - the law doesn't say that they must destroy your dna evidence after the blood alcohol test. Nope. They are logging that shit into a national DNA database. This is MAJOR people. Pay attention. Complaining on Facebook is not an effective form of protest!

Jimmy Vavak
Jimmy Vavak

and apparently when they pull you over they look on your facebook page to see if youve checked in at bars or posted pics of you drinking.. thanks obama

Kerrie Weston
Kerrie Weston

In Arizona the law is a blood sample for every suspected DUU

Amanda Conner
Amanda Conner

Well look at the flipping dna checkpoints coming out.... :-\ unconstitutional and really frkn scary

Jay Ejh
Jay Ejh

This is unconstitutional. Period.

Jeff Wade
Jeff Wade

No Princess with the slop mouth it not solved. The problem is them taking blood without our consent .

Amanda Conner
Amanda Conner

Ya know.... I think I'm the only politically "right" reader of RFT and when we have you liberals (lol) saying this is a clear violation than it absolutely is. ;-) This is wrong. This is disgusting and if it ever happened to me (though I'm not stupid enough to drink and drive) I would find a way to make sure I shit on them when they took my blood. #realtalk I would absolutely crap on them. That is all. This. Is. Horse. Shit.

Neil Aimaro
Neil Aimaro

This is not tougher DWI laws. This is a clear violation of The Fourth Amendment. If you support this then I would argue you would be the same type of person who wold have supported Hitler's rise to power.

Neil Aimaro
Neil Aimaro

"The new measures have been enacted because "too many drunken drivers have learned to game the legal system." BULLSHIT! If you refuse a Breathalyzer then it's no different than pleading guilty unless you want to go to trial which the majority of people do not do. Government is now going to take our blood by force? The simple fact that this has not sparked a national outrage stands as a testament to just how weak and powerless the American people have become. Congrats America, you have allowed your government to become a vampire.

Jeff Wade
Jeff Wade

No but but taking you blood without your consent is . Dont need a book for that .

Eric Jacobs
Eric Jacobs

It won't last long courts will rule it violates the constitution

Mark Sauer
Mark Sauer

Tougher DWI laws hardly amount to Nazism. Read a book.

John Schoen
John Schoen

My Lovely Bride, Cocktails, Fireplace and The Who on DVD... Eat Me 2014!!

Stan Schoen
Stan Schoen

Stay home and drink or don't go the St. Louis!

Eddie Gregs
Eddie Gregs

I mean, it sucks that rights get taken away, but people obviously abuse it too much. Same with guns. Guns are just tool manned by a person, but it keeps getting abused. Maybe when we mature as a whole we can stop giving up rights. And this is coming from someone who despises the government telling me what to do. But come on, think about the other people on this earth. Drunk driving has killed a lot of innocent people. I'll get off my high horse now

RK Kittenbitz
RK Kittenbitz

Drive sober. And stop whining. Even better, stay the fuck hone.

RK Kittenbitz
RK Kittenbitz

Boys and girls, driving is not a right. Driving drunk is stupid, and using the tired ole Nazi comparison is just plain hilarious. Semo, what part of "needing a warrant" is warrantless? You are way off base here. And yeah, you have rights. The right to shut the fuck up when pulled over, for starters. Is THAT clear enough for YOU, SEMO???

Bud AkaCali
Bud AkaCali

Driving is a 'privilege'?? Yall are beyond sheep smh No hope for yall.. maybe we should just bring on Nazi America.. its for your 'safety'.. lol that said.. drive sober.

Doug Hammerstroem
Doug Hammerstroem

The obvious solution here is to have a sober passenger who will immediately switch seats with you should you get stopped.

Derek Young
Derek Young

And all the kings men (Police Dept) come down from the castle to rob the village(ie - taxpayer) in the name of the king(DA's Office) taxation.

dyoung1978
dyoung1978

And all the kings men (Police Dept) come down from the castle to rob the village(ie - taxpayer) in the name of the king(DA's Office) taxation.

Travis Spade
Travis Spade

The local police have absolutely no buisness taking blood at check points when they can use a breathalyzer I dont drink and drive or ride with people that do and im still outraged that this is happening in my city It is clearly a violation of our rights and the constitution What reason can 1 justify taking blood at a checkpoint????

Mark Golstab
Mark Golstab

With all the ways one can party and not drive while drunk, I'm in favor of this. No one's rights are being violated, the due process is just expedited. Don't drive while intoxicated.

Mary Aubuchon
Mary Aubuchon

I understand protecting the public from wrecklessness, but how far will things go under the guise of "protecting"? This sets the ball in motion down a slippery slope, I fear :/

Krystol D. Trice
Krystol D. Trice

I think that I would just take the breathalyzer, but how do you know that you're not going to be framed by a corrupt cop?

Michael Rempe
Michael Rempe

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin Check points have already been noted by the courts to be unconstitutional, but in the name of "safety" they have been allowed. Yes, drive sober and you have nothing to worry about. But that is not the issue. Our government is slowly taking our rights away and people fear our government. "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson If you think these check points are designed and implemented with safety in mind you are very naive. They are about money and control.

Joellen Pickens
Joellen Pickens

People killed or injured by drunk drivers had rights, too.

Andrew Eldridge
Andrew Eldridge

I remember there used to be a time when the cops actually needed something called probable cause to arrest and detain now its stop every car to check for insurance and see how many DUI's they can get. I'm all for no drinking and driving but this type of policing is a dangerous door to open.

Semo Copblock
Semo Copblock

what's that have to do with constitutional rights? you're off track here. And yes we do have to worry, when our rights are being violated by unconstitutional stops and unwarranted urine and blood testing. We have rights RK.. is "THAT" clear enough for YOU?

Semo Copblock
Semo Copblock

you do have the right to refuse. they don't want you to know that, matter o fact, they don't want you to be aware of any right you may have ...it's generates revenue.

Andrew Eldridge
Andrew Eldridge

Yeah its about saving lives, if we wanted to save lives put breathalyzers on all new cars and offer tax rebates for the product to be placed in older vehicles. But the where would the city and state get money?

RK Kittenbitz
RK Kittenbitz

Neil, if you think the 4th amendment applies after your ass has been pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, you need to go back to school. Driving is NOT a right. It is a privilege. Drive SOBER and you don't have to worry about anything. That clear enough for you???

Melani Nicole
Melani Nicole

I'm sure this will get tossed out by the Supreme Court but until then, I bet a lot of people will submit to breathalyzer tests because they don't want their blood taken!

Kelle Deyne
Kelle Deyne

Neil "police officers are not allowed to detain or question with reasonable cause".....smelling like booze, weaving, slurring and pupil dilation are causes. Also- the fact you're driving on a state or local road gives them any cause to stop to check anything out.... You know... To save fricking LIVES of people.

Kelle Deyne
Kelle Deyne

Neil- if you have one or more obvious drunk behaviors, reek of booze and refuse a breathalyzer... You've already lost. The only violation is the person who is under suspicion. Your ignorance is what is scary. Please enlighten us with all of the precious freedoms that have been lost that are directly affecting you right this moment. So- you have established that a field blood test or after being arrested while you're displaying drunk behavior is one of them.... Any others?

Kelle Deyne
Kelle Deyne

Nazi Germany. It always goes back to that. A perfect parallel to sobriety check points.

Kelle Deyne
Kelle Deyne

I am the reason we are loosing freedom. Wow. I guess I'm flattered that you think people who obey the driving laws and despise drunk drivers are the sole reason for loss of freedoms. Not sure what freedoms anyone has lost.... but I will just take your word for it. You are an absolute genius.

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