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MO law enforcers will certainly scrutinize this state's DUI tale

Sometimes the mistakes that police officers or other criminal justice officials make in Missouri and elsewhere in drunk driving cases are narrowly confined, though still significant.

On other occasions, they are writ large and have spillover effects of significant proportions. Just ask New Jersey law enforcers about that.

The Supreme Court in that state issued a ruling last week in a drunk driving-linked matter that equates to a meteorite slamming into a small pond.

In other words, ripples are being felt in almost seismic fashion.

And understandably so. That will happen when a court rules evidence inadmissible that could conceivably affect the outcomes of more than 20,000 DUI cases.

One media report minces no words in its spotlighting of what is clearly a momentous judicial decision. That article stresses that the ruling "opens the floodgates for thousands of people to challenge DWI convictions that occurred over nearly a decade."

Critics of the ruling will likely denigrate it for the confusion it is causing now and the uncertainty it could engender going forward.

Diverse and broad-based fans of the decision from coast to coast, though, unquestionably applaud the court's unanimous take that every arrest/conviction involving flawed calibration testing of alcohol-measuring breathalyzer devices must be considered anew.

The tribunal's ruling targeted the conduct of an ex-police examiner who failed to perform a key calibration check required to verify the accuracy of the BAC-measuring machines. Reportedly, the officer magnified that lapse by lying about it. Testers in the field subsequently used the breathalyzers to arrest the stunning 20,000-plus motorists cited above.

Things are now obviously in flux.

The matter certainly commands broad relevance across the country, including in Missouri, where police officers routinely arrest and seek to convict high numbers of drivers on drunk driving charges.

The message delivered by the above court to law enforcers is manifestly clear: Play by the rules or risk the consequences.

Questions or concerns regarding a Missouri drunk driving charge can be directed to attorneys at a proven and aggressive St. Louis criminal defense law firm.

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