Chemical Tests in Kansas and Missouri
After a driver has been stopped under the suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, a law enforcement officer will likely request that the driver submit to a chemical test. A chemical test is used to determine a driver's BAC (blood alcohol content). There are three types of chemical tests: breath, blood, and urine.
The laws regarding chemical tests vary depending on your state, the laws of both Kansas and Missouri are explained below. If you have been arrested and charged with DUI/DWI based on the results of a chemical test, do not assume that you will be found guilty! Chemical tests can provide inaccurate results for a number of different reasons. Take a moment to call the McLane Law Firm to schedule a consultation.
Kansas Implied Consent Law
Kansas abides by an implied consent law. This means that any person who operates a vehicle in Kansas has been deemed to have given consent to submit to a chemical test of breath, blood, or urine.
The test will be administered at the direction of the law enforcement officer. However, only certain, medically trained individuals are authorized to draw an individual's blood. These individuals include:
- A person licensed to practice medicine and surgery or a person acting under the supervision of any such licensed person;
- A registered nurse or licensed practical nurse;
- Any qualified medical technician; or
- A phlebotomist.
In Kansas, if an individual refuses to submit to a chemical test, the officer may arrest the individual with a separate offense. Generally, the penalties associated with this offense are greater than or equal to the criminal penalties for the crime of driving under the influence.
If the person submits to and completes the test and the results show:
- A BAC of .08% or greater: The person's driving privileges will be suspended for 30 days for the first occurrence and one year for the second or subsequent occurrence; or
- A BAC of .15% or greater: The person's driving privileges will be suspended for one year for the first or subsequent occurrence.
Keep in mind that refusal to submit to chemical testing may be used against the person at trial. The results of a completed test may also be submitted as evidence at trial. The person is allowed to obtain additional testing, if so desired.
Missouri Implied Consent Law
Missouri follows a similar implied consent law. Here, any person who operates a motor vehicle in the state has deemed to have given consent to submit to a chemical test in order to determine BAC. Generally, a chemical test will be administered in the following situations:
- When a person is arrested for any offense related to driving a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition;
- When a person is under 21 years old, has been stopped by law enforcement, and the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person was driving with a BAC of .02% or greater;
- When a person is under 21 years old, has been stopped by law enforcement, and the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person has committed a traffic violation and after the stop, believes that the person was driving with a BAC of .02% or greater;
- When a person is under 21 years old, has been stopped at a sobriety checkpoint and the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person was driving with a BAC of .02% or greater; or
- When a person, while driving, has been involved in an automobile crash that resulted in a fatality or serious injury.
Under Missouri law, a driver should not be subject to more than two chemical tests per incident or arrest. The test shall be administered by medical personnel or by a person who possesses a valid permit issued by the State Department of Health and Senior Services for this purpose. Further, the Department will approve the devices, techniques, equipment and/or methods to be considered in association with the chemical tests.
The state of Missouri permits the driver to have a second test taken by a medical professional of his choice (at the expense of the driver). Also, the driver may receive information related to the state's test. This is known as “full information” and it involves the following:
- The type of test administered and the procedures followed;
- The time of the collection of the blood or breath sample or urine analyzed;
- The numerical results of the test indicating the alcohol content of the blood and breath and urine;
- The type and status of any permit which was held by the person who performed the test; and
- If the test was administered by means of a breath-testing instrument, the date of performance of the most recent required maintenance of such instrument.
Any official video recording made during the chemical test is admissible as evidence against the driver.
Issues related to Chemical Tests in Kansas and Missouri
Just as with field sobriety tests, chemical test results are not foolproof. The tests may lead to inaccurate findings for a variety of reasons. These reasons include, but are not limited to, improper storage of the sample, improper blood draw, inadequately trained technician, poor breath devices, and improper police practices.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
If you have been charged with DUI/DWI in either Kansas or Missouri, it is best to work with an experienced DUI/DWI defense lawyer in your area. Many drivers submit to chemical tests without being fully aware of their rights. A driver faces severe consequences for alcohol-related charges in both Kansas and Missouri. That is why it is best to work with a DUI/DWI defense lawyer who understand the laws in both states.
Mr. McLane works with clients in state courts throughout the Kansas City area. This includes Johnson County, Douglas County, Miami County and Wyandotte County on the Kansas side, and Platte County, Clay County, Cass County and Jackson County in Missouri. Further, Mr. McLane regularly appears in the city courts of Olathe, Overland Park, Leawood, Lenexa, Lawrence, Mission, Shawnee, Prairie Village, Paola, Gardner, Spring Hill, DeSoto, Merriam, and all area courts in Missouri.