Interviewer: What does it say about what may happen because of this? Could this be an indication of stricter rules that will be occurring in the next few years, especially in Missouri?
Kevin Roach: The DWI enforcement and the stricter rules are just the start of it. What we’re moving toward in Missouri and the rest of the country is more of like a zero tolerance type of situation. The current limit, 0.08, is pretty low. It doesn’t take much. It typically takes a couple beers to get to0.08. We’re seeing heightened scrutiny.
I’m seeing the days of people that are borderline and they might be a block from their house, and police used to give them a ride home or just say, “Be safe. Go on your way.” Those days are over. I cannot remember hearing a police officer doing that in recent history. It used to be something that they would do on a regular basis.
It’s become a lot stricter with the DWI enforcements. It’s become more of a revenue stream that a lot of these St. Louis municipal courts are dependent on. A lot of the municipalities are strapped because the tax assessments are down and whatnot. They’re trying whatever way they can. Some of them are putting up red light cameras and doing other things.
A lot of them are stepping up their DWI enforcement and their other citations as well just to keep their revenue up. It’s just become a situation where a lot of these arrests are really suspicious. Do they really have probable cause to pull somebody over? It’s suspicious when you see just a large number of arrests in a small area. It makes you wonder how the police are pulling all these people over. Could they all be weaving? Are they all really speeding? It may be true but it makes you scratch your head and wonder.
Interviewer: It’s one of those situations where there’s always that notorious small town in every state that people know about and like, “Don’t drive through there because they’re going to stop you. They’ll get you for anything. You’re speeding. You’re going two miles over the speed limit; they’re going to stop you.”
A conviction will significantly change someone’s life.
Kevin Roach: It’s really gotten out of whack. It’s gone from when it was in the 80s and 90s where it was just people are getting multiple arrests and there really weren’t enough DWI enforcements. Now, you can’t even go downtown and watch a baseball game and have a couple beers without worrying about getting locked up on your way home. It’s really taken a 180-degree turn.
If their mission was just to wake people up and get their attention, they’re doing that for sure, because there are a lot of people that never had anything on the record other than routine traffic tickets before that are getting arrested for DWI that had no idea that they were even close to being intoxicated. It’s something that you definitely have to pay attention to.
Contact The Law Offices of Kevin Roach to discuss how these laws may affect your DWI case.