Can I lose my license for a DWI arrest?

As a Missouri driver, your driver’s license is crucial. Without a valid license, or if yours becomes suspended or revoked, you may not legally drive. If you do so, you face a further suspension or revocation.

Per the Missouri Department of Revenue, Missouri has an implied consent law whereby you must consent to a blood alcohol test when asked to do so by a law enforcement officer. Should you refuse, your driver’s license is automatically suspended.

Criminal and administrative alcohol actions

When an officer pulls you over for allegedly driving while intoxicated, two types of Missouri law come into play. Criminal laws apply to any DWI ticket you receive; administrative laws apply to your driver’s license suspension or revocation.

As stated, you must undergo a blood alcohol content test when arrested for DWI. If your BAC is over the legal limit – 0.08 percent for adult drivers, 0.04 percent for commercial drivers and 0.02 percent for minors under the age of 21 – the officer must do the following:

  • Issue you a Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privilege and a temporary driving permit that is good for 15 days
  • Send an Alcohol Influence Report to the Missouri Department of Revenue
  • Issue you a Missouri Uniform Complaint and Summons if (s)he arrests you for DWI

Administrative hearing

Your suspension or revocation time varies depending on your driving history for the past five years. Suspension and revocation times fall into the following four categories:

  1. Ninety-day suspension if this is your first DWI arrest
  2. One-year revocation if this is your second DWI arrest and you were convicted the first time
  3. Five-year revocation if this is your second DWI arrest in five years and you were convicted the first time
  4. Ten-year revocation if this is your third or more DWI arrest and you were convicted the previous times

If you want an administrative hearing regarding your suspension, you must request one within 15 days. If the Department of Revenue upholds your suspension or revocation, you may petition your county’s circuit court for a review. However, your suspension or revocation remains in effect during the pendency of your court review.

If the court upholds your arrest and suspension or revocation, it remains in effect and you must meet Missouri’s reinstatement requirements to get your license back. If the court overturns your arrest and suspension or revocation, the Department of Revenue cancels your suspension without any further action on your part.

While this information is not legal advice, it can help you understand the license suspension process and what to expect.