What do I need to know about getting a DWI in Missouri?
Everyone knows driving while intoxicated is dangerous, but alcohol and drugs can impair judgment and cause people to make poor decisions. Getting behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can and most likely will result in being charged with a DWI in Missouri (or DUI in other States).
In some states, DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) hold different legal meanings. Drivers who are intoxicated on alcohol might receive a DWI, while drivers under the influence of drugs or other substances might receive a DUI.
Similarly, some states use one term to cover lesser intoxicated driving charges and the other for severe situations of intoxication. However, in Missouri, the preferred terminology is DWI. A court-issued DWI in Missouri covers all cases of driving while intoxicated in any way.
What are the Legal Limits in Missouri?
Missouri’s legal drinking age is 21. Those under 21 caught driving while intoxicated in Missouri are subject to a “zero tolerance” policy limit of 0.02%. All adults 21 years or older caught driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or above will receive a DWI in Missouri
If the BAC meets this requirement, no other evidence of impairment is needed. Legally, this method of BAC-limit measurement is considered a “per se” DWI law. Additionally, if your BAC is about 0.15% in Missouri, you may receive an Aggravated DWI.
Unlike alcohol, drugs and other intoxicating substances aren’t as easy to test. In these cases, other forms of evidence are required to issue a DWI. These things include swerving or different apparent types of impaired driving, ignoring traffic signs & other laws, the smell of burnt marijuana or other drugs, field tests, and more.
What are the Penalties of a DWI in Missouri?
Many factors contribute to the DWI penalties. For all the details, be sure to check the Missouri Department of Revenue’s official guidelines.
The criminal aspect of a DWI involves the actual ticket issued. The courts send your ticket to the proper department for processing. Fines, points on your driver’s license, and even license suspension/revocation can result from your DWI ticket.
The administrative side of DWI focuses on your driving privileges concerning your BAC test results (or refusal of the test). Your license might be suspended or revoked from an administrative standpoint even if your ticket was reduced or rejected in court.
A first offense DWI in Missouri will automatically result in a 90-day license suspension. Additional points also go on your driving record.
However, you may be eligible for what Missouri calls a Restricted Driving Privilege. First-time offenders can install an Ignition Interlock Device on their steering wheel and drive for limited reasons like work, religion, court-ordered appearances, child care, grocery/gas requirements, etc.
Once you receive a second DWI, the laws get very strict. Typically, regardless of how much time passed since your first DWI, the court will issue enough points to result in 1-year license revocation.
If the offense occurs within five years of your last DWI, Missouri may also issue a 5-year license denial. Three or more DWI convictions result in 10-year license denial.
Seeking Legal Help for Your DWI in Missouri
Suddarth & Koor, LLC will strive for your DWI not to affect any future educational or employment possibilities.
A DWI can stay on your driving record for life, but with the proper DWI attorney, it may not have to. In the State of Missouri, DWI accidents are taken very seriously, and aggressive representation is needed.
We will work to avoid the harsh ramifications of a DWI arrest. Our goal is to avoid a conviction altogether and avoid long-term fallout. Contact us today for your FREE CONSULTATION!