For drivers facing a DUI conviction in Missouri, the consequences can be huge. Not only do drivers lose their license for a period of time, but there may be additional financial and criminal penalties. Having a good defense can help fight the charge and hopefully result in a not guilty verdict.
The Missouri Department of Revenue outlines how a DUI affects one’s driving privilege. There is an automatic suspension of the vehicle operator’s license when the BAC is over the limit or the person refuses to take the breathalyzer test. For first time convictions, the suspension stays in place for 90 days.
For drivers on their second conviction, license revocation is for one year, and multiple convictions can result in the denial of the driver’s license for up to ten years. Drivers with a suspended license may meet the requirements for a restricted driver’s license.
FindLaw discusses some of the defense tactics attorneys use to fight DUI charges. They may question the accuracy of the breathalyzer or field sobriety tests. If the accused had a blood test, an attorney may also argue that there was mishandling of, or tampering with, the sample. A common defense is to claim that the law enforcement officer did not have a good reason to make the traffic stop, which could get the judge to throw out the entire case.
The defense may also use affirmative defenses during a trial. Arguments may include the accused did not know he or she was drinking alcohol or that driving was a necessity to get out of harm’s way.