St. Louis Becomes “No Refusal Zone” For Suspected Drunk Drivers

In December 2013, City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer M. Joyce, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson and City of St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson joined together to put drunken drivers on official notice: St. Louis is now a No Refusal Zone.

That means that if you are suspected of driving under the influence and refuse to take a breath test, police will seek a search warrant that allows your blood to be drawn and analyzed to determine blood alcohol level.

In 2012, 10,322 people were killed and approximately 345,000 people were injured in drunken driving accidents

Today, too many impaired drivers have learned how to game the legal system by refusing to submit to field sobriety tests, including blood alcohol concentration tests (BAC).  BAC test refusals are increasing around the nation, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report to Congress.

National refusal rates ranged from 2.4 percent to 81 percent, with an average refusal rate of 22.4 percent.  In the City of St. Louis, the refusal rate is over 50%.

The goal of making the City of St. Louis a No Refusal Zone is to reduce the number of drunken driving injuries and fatalities and better hold offenders accountable for breaking the law.