Driving While Intoxicated: What Does It Mean?

Driving While Intoxicated

Missouri’s DWI laws are legally defined as a person operating or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of any type of drugs or alcohol or with an excessive Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).

Let’s break this down even more.

In the state of Missouri you can get a DWI without actually driving. The term “actual physical control” makes DWI in Missouri cases span a broader range than just using the term, “operating”.

If you are in a position to regulate a vehicle’s movements while intoxicated, you can be charged with a DWI.

What defines excessive BAC?

Having a Blood Alcohol Concentration at the legal limit of .08% or above is considered excessive BAC. Missouri also has certain restriction on drivers under the age of 21 and commercial vehicle drivers:

  • Commercial vehicle drivers are considered to have excessive BAC if they are found with .04% alcohol in their blood.
  • Drivers under the age of 21 will be charged with a DWI if their BAC is at least .02%

DWI Penalties In Missouri

Penalties across the United States for DUIs or DWIs are pretty steep. Since drunk driving accounts for one death every 50 minutes each day, it makes sense while legislation trends are moving towards increased penalties for drunk drivers. If you’ve been arrested for a DWI in Missouri, the penalties you face may look similar to those listed below. However, each case varies based on the circumstances surrounding the case and the individual.

  • 1st Offense – If it’s your first time being arrested for a DWI in Missouri you could face up to six months in jail, $1,00 in fines, your license will be taken for 30 days with a 60 day restricted license, and you could possibly have an ignition interlock device attached to your vehicle.
  • 2nd Offense – Your second offense could land you in jail for up to one year and up to $2,000 in fines. You will also have your driver’s license revoked for up to 5 years and an ignition interlock device (IID) will be fitted to your vehicle for a minimum of six months.
  • 3rd Offense – If you are caught a third time Driving While Intoxicated you will face up to 4 years in jail and have your license will be revoked for up to 10 years. You could face fines up to $10,000 and your vehicle will have an IID for at least six months.

The Long Term Effects of a DWI ConvictionDriving While Intoxicated

Being convicted of a DWI not only affects you during the trial and sentencing portion of your conviction, but it also has some heavy repercussions afterwards.

Once you have been convicted of Driving While Intoxicated and regained your driving privileges you will most likely need SR-22 insurance, which automatically doubles or even triples your insurance premiums.

Also, if this was your second or third conviction, in the state of Missouri you will be court ordered to have an IID installed in your vehicle for at least six months. This requires you to blow into a device before your vehicle can even be turned on. You are also required to pay for the device and installation and any other monthly fees that may be required for ongoing monitoring.

Bottom line, being convicted of a DWI in Missouri is a time consuming and expensive process that can affect the rest of your life. If you’ve been convicted of a DWI or DUI, you need to speak to a private attorney who specializes in DWI cases. A knowledgeable and local lawyer is in your will be your best defense. They can assist you in understanding Missouri DWI laws, help you to mitigate a plea bargain, and any other advice or assistance you may need through the entire process both during and after your trial.

Call us today to set up your free consultation.