Heartland county implements No Refusal Law
"When I took office one of the concerns I had was DWIs in Adair County," Prosecutor Matt Wilson said.
As more state and local law enforcement officials enact no refusal DWI enforcement policies, Adair County is taking shots of the No Refusal initiative.
Previously, Adair County was operating under Implied Consent Law, meaning when you operate a motor vehicle in the state of Missouri, it is implied that you are going to agree to submit to a breath test, urine test or blood test-- if probable cause exists of intoxicated driving.
Now on DWI cases where people are arrested for driving while intoxicated and there's probable cause to arrest them, Wilson says, if they refuse to provide a breath sample or blood sample, then officers will seek a warrant.
Prosecutor Matt Wilson said nothing has changed.
"The law hasn't changed, we are just adding an additional step to our process to continue to ensure that we protect people's rights and abide by the law, but also protect our roadways from intoxicated drivers," Wilson said
Wilson tells us he decided to spike this initiative after meeting with other prosecutors around the state of Missouri and seeing their results
Adair County is not the only county putting a cork in DWIs. Counties on the Eastern half of Missouri are already seeing results of the No Refusal Law, those counties found that DWI trials have gone down, refusals have plummeted and people are pleading guilty.
"We've talked to some of those counties, we've seen their results and we said lets make that work up here," Wilson said.
Although local law enforcement is on board with this No Refusal initiative, it will require extra work.
Wilson says officers will have to fill out additional paperwork and provide an affidavit detailing the facts they've observed for the judge.
"The goal is to hold people more accountable and to address some of the tactics, so to speak, of the defense attorney's and other groups out there that are trying to make it difficult for prosecutors to enforce the DWI law," Wilson said.