Under Missouri law, you are prohibited from operating or being in control of a motor vehicle while you are drunk or under the influence of drugs or prescription medications. As any seasoned St. Louis attorney can tell you, failing to comply with Missouri’s DWI laws can not only land you in jail, but also result in a license suspension.
What Constitutes DWI in Missouri
You can be charged with DWI in Missouri under the following circumstances.
- If you are over the age of 21 (which is the legal drinking age in Missouri) and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher
- If you are under the age of 21 and have a BAC of 0.02% or higher
- If you operate a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04% or higher
Remember – if you are pulled over for DWI in Missouri, the cops might ask you whether you have been drinking. Apart from telling your name, age, and other identifying information, you are not required to respond to any of their questions. You can simply tell them that you will only talk in the presence of a St. Louis attorney.
What Are The Penalties For a DWI in Missouri
- First offense – Up to six months in jail, up to $1,000 in fine, suspension of the driver’s license for 30 days, and restricted or hardship license for 60 days
- Second offense – Up to one year in jail, up to $2,000 in fine, and revocation of license for 5 years
- Third offense – Up to four years in jail, up to $10,000 in fine, and revocation of license for 10 years
It should be noted that your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked by the Department of Revenue immediately following your DWI arrest – before your case even goes to the court.
In order to avoid the automatic suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, you can request a hearing with the Department of Revenue with the help of your St. Louis attorney. The request must be made within 15 days of your DWI arrest. Otherwise, you will lose your right to challenge the suspension of your license.
During the hearing, your attorney will try to convince the authorities to reinstate your driver’s license by questioning the veracity of the prosecution’s charges against you and by pointing out the inconsistencies in the police report.
In some cases, your St. Louis attorney might also decide to get a stay order from a county court so that you can keep driving until your case is reviewed by the Department of Revenue.
Lost Your License after a DWI Arrest Choose the Right St. Louis Attorney to Defend You!
If you or any of your family members have been arrested for DWI in Missouri, the criminal defense attorneys at Miller & Hine can help you. We can request for an administrative review with the Department of Revenue, mount a strong defense against the DWI charge, and fight hard to prevent the suspension or revocation of your license.