It’s no picnic to face DWI charges, especially if you’re up against a second or third offense. In Missouri, if you’re categorized as a persistent offender, you could face felony-level penalties if convicted. Still, a close look at the details of a drunk driving arrest can sometimes reveal mistakes in police procedure, and that means there is the possibility of a reduction or dismissal of charges. In any case, it’s important to move aggressively against the allegations to achieve the best outcome possible.
A 27-year-old Manchester man will need this kind of defense after being accused of his third DWI. The arrest happened back in early July 2011, but he was only recently charged on Jan. 31. Since a conviction would be his third offense, he was charged with DWI as a persistent offender. Following is how police in St. Louis County say the initial arrest occurred.
At night, the young man was allegedly driving his motorcycle with the headlight unlit. He is said to have been swerving, and when he was pulled over, an officer claims to have smelled alcohol. The officer also claimed that the suspect confessed to drinking “way too many beers.” The man refused a breath test and allegedly performed badly on a field sobriety test.
His previous convictions were in 2008 and 2009. The most recent charge was filed more than a year and a half after he was pulled over. He was arrested for that charge on Feb. 7, and he posted bond the same day.
What is important to remember in these cases is that police officers do make mistakes, and a strong DWI defense will seek to reveal those mistakes with a view toward protecting the defendant’s rights. It is also imperative that the defendant is aware of the possible penalties associated with felony DWI and breath test refusal.
Source: Town and Country-Manchester Patch, “Manchester Motorcyclist Faces Third DWI Charge in Four Years,” Joe Scott, Feb. 21, 2013