If you operate a vehicle after consuming an alcoholic beverage in Missouri, you risk being arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). DWI charges in Missouri cover intoxication by alcohol, drugs, or both, with penalties similar to driving under the influence (DUI) laws in other states. Whenever you drive, it’s wise to keep this information below in mind.
How Missouri Handles DUI & DWI Charges
Drivers Sustain Criminal Penalties for DWI
Missouri law imposes both criminal and administrative penalties for DWI drivers. If you are ticketed and convicted of driving while intoxicated, courts can impose fines, jail time, and suspend your driver’s license.
The courts notify the Department of Revenue (DOR) of convictions, and the agency adds points to your license. Accumulating points can lead to suspension or revocation of your driving privileges. A criminal DWI conviction may make you eligible for a limited driving privilege (LDP).
Missouri Also Imposes Administrative DWI Penalties
Even if your criminal DWI charges are reduced or dismissed, Missouri can impose an automatic administrative license suspension. This administrative action occurs when you refuse the blood alcohol content (BAC) test or take the test and the results are above the legal limit of 0.08%.
A 90-day license suspension is imposed for a first-time conviction for DWI, a BAC test refusal, or an excessive BAC level. However, you may be eligible for a restricted driving privilege (RDP), which differs from the LDP.
Drivers Can Request Administrative Hearings
Missouri allows drivers to request hearings when the state plans to suspend their licenses automatically under its administrative rules for DWI violations. You have 15 days from the notice of suspension to ask the DOR to schedule an in-person or over-the-phone hearing to contest the action.
For an effective traffic offense attorney to fight DUI or DWI charges and administrative license suspensions, turn to Coyne, Cundiff & Hillemann, P.C. in St. Charles County, MO. Offering over 75 years of combined experience, this legal team has a record of successful negotiations and trials. These criminal defense lawyers help drivers obtain the best outcome for their circumstances. To learn more about their practice, visit them online or call (636) 561-5599.