Case summaries for Oct. 1 – Oct. 7, 2021
Not Too Intoxicated to Refuse
Operating a motor vehicle constitutes consent to a chemical test when an officer has reasonable grounds, or probable cause, to believe that the operator was driving while intoxicated. Reasonable grounds, or probable cause, means information on which a prudent person believes a driver drove while intoxicated. Such information includes appearances, odors, and refusal of field sobriety tests; later consumption of alcohol does not negate earlier intoxication. Administrative loss of license results from refusing a test, and refusing means everything but taking the test, unless the driver “is dead, unconscious or … otherwise in a condition rendering him incapable of refusing [.]” Capacity to refuse does not require a knowing refusal, and whether the driver remembers refusing is irrelevant.
Adam M. Tarwater vs. Director of Revenue
Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD84007 and WD84008