Missouri DWI laws and penalties

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2022 | DWI

Missouri uses the initials DWI, or driving while intoxicated, to refer to drunk driving. Drunk driving in Springfield, Missouri, can add points to the driver’s license and includes various penalties.

Overview of Missouri DWI

Drivers in Missouri can get a DWI for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination. Missouri sets the blood alcohol content level for DWI at .08 for standard drivers and .04 for commercial drivers. Getting a DWI based on BAC alone is called per se, which means the officer doesn’t need any more evidence.

Drivers under 21 can not register a BAC of .02 or more under Zero Tolerance and can face a minor in possession charge. A MIP charge refers to being visibly intoxicated by the alcohol in the body, with or without a bottle. A driver consented to chemical testing by having a driver’s license under implied consent laws, and there are penalties for refusal.

Penalties

Penalties for a first DWI include up to six months of jail, a 30-day license suspension, and a maximum $1,000 fine. Some first offenders may apply for a restricted license for 90 days after the suspension if they agree to an ignition interlock device. First offenders may get alternative sentencing, such as probation, mandatory jail, random testing, and alcohol treatment programs.

A second DWI offense includes penalties of a one-year license suspension, up to one year of jail, a maximum $2,000 fine. If the second conviction happens within five years of the first, the license suspension increases to five years. Drivers who refuse a breathalyzer after arrest commonly face a one-year license suspension and a six-month period of IID.

A DWI can have long-term consequences, but mistakes are often made, and drivers can defend the charges. Depending on the case facts and circumstances, some drivers may plea down to the lesser charge of wet reckless.