Missouri DUI/DWI Laws
Driving while intoxicated, also known as DWI, or driving under the influence, also known as DUI, are charges against the driver of a motorized vehicle for impairment due to alcohol or other drugs. The penalties for being charged with a Missouri DUI or DWI can vary greatly based on your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), whether you were involved in an accident, and whether you have been charged previously with a drug or alcohol offense.
St. Louis DUI Lawyer
The 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC) standard allows the prosecutor to charge the driver with a statutory or “per se” DWI, which means they don’t have to prove that the driver was impaired, only that the BAC was .08 percent or greater – and the defendant is considered intoxicated by law. As a defense, a St. Louis DUI lawyer can challenge the results or the validity of BAC test. If a driver’s BAC is above .15 percent, that could lead to higher penalties or an aggravated DUI, which comes with stronger penalties. It is strongly encouraged that you hire a St. Louis DUI attorney to represent you in court. Failing to do so will likely result in a conviction.
Missouri DWI/DUI – First Offense
A first DUI/DWI is generally charged as a Class B misdemeanor in Missouri, that can come with penalties of up to six months in jail and a $500 fine. In addition, if you are convicted, your driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days with the ability to request restricted driving privileges.
Whether your driver’s license will be limited or suspended is actually not part of the court process, but a separate part of the Missouri DUI process that is handled by the Missouri Department of Revenue – which regulates driver’s licenses. A summary of DWI charges can be found on the Missouri Department of Revenue’s website. Many people don’t realize that if you refuse to take the BAC blow test administered by the police, there is an informed consent law in Missouri that automatically suspends your driver’s license for one year. So, it is harder to be prosecuted for a DWI if a BAC is not taken, but it comes with automatically stiffer penalties through the suspension of the driver’s license.