The festive season offers plenty of opportunities to raise a glass and toast friends and family. Unfortunately, this also means that attorneys see many DUI or DWI cases this time of year – particularly around holidays like New Year’s. With December marking National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, here’s what Missourians need to know.
5 FAQs on Missouri DWI
1. What qualifies as driving while intoxicated?
In Missouri, you’re not allowed to operate or be in physical control of a vehicle if you’re intoxicated due to drugs or alcohol. You don’t have to even be driving on the road – even just inching your car up a bit in a parking space to avoid getting towed counts.
2. What’s considered excessive blood alcohol concentration?
A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent qualifies as excessive. For commercial drivers, the threshold is .04 percent while for those under 21, the BAC limit drops to .02 percent.
3. How do you know if you’re legally intoxicated?
Everybody metabolizes alcohol differently, and blood alcohol levels are impacted by everything from your weight to how much you ate that day. As any attorney will tell you, the safest way to prevent DWI is to avoid drinking and driving altogether.
4. Do you legally have to take a BAC test?
If you’re pulled over under suspicion of DWI, you’ll likely be asked to submit to a blood, breath, urine, or saliva test to determine your BAC. Missouri has an implied consent law, meaning that if you refuse to take this test, you may face legal consequences such as a one-year license revocation.
5. What are the penalties for DWI in Missouri?
For a first offense, you’ll face jail time of up to six months and fines of up to $1,000. You will also receive a 30-day license suspension, and a restricted license for 60 days after that. Consequences escalate for second and third offenses, so it’s always good to have an attorney help fight any charges.
If you’re facing a DWI in Columbia, MO, look to the Law Office of Mike Hamilton for assistance. This attorney has spent more than 20 years serving as a public defender, giving him in-depth knowledge of state laws and years of trial experience. This lawyer offers adept and aggressive representation for an array of criminal charges. To request a consultation, use the online form or call the law firm directly at (573) 825-5698.
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