When you’re stopped for a DUI, it is likely that an officer will charge you with more than just a DUI offense. Additional charges may be something simple, like rolling through a stop sign or speeding, which may have been indications for the officer of your intoxicated state. Often, though, the charges can be much more serious, especially if another person is somehow involved.
Most of these charges fall within the area of reckless endangerment. Endangerment laws apply to a variety of situations, but in the case of DUI charges, they generally relate to situations where an intoxicated driver potentially or actually caused harm to another person. Missouri laws in this area are fairly complicated, but generally allow for an additional charge to be brought against someone if they put others at risk while intoxicated. This can include anything from carrying another person in your vehicle while you’re intoxicated and driving to manslaughter cases where another person is killed as a result of your actions and intoxication.
In almost all cases, any sort of reckless endangerment charge in addition to a DUI is enough to push a charge into felony territory. Felony offenses in Missouri almost always include jail time, on top of hefty fines and any additional charges for the DUI. While you should never drive drunk, especially with other people in your car with you, if you find that an officer has added any additional charges to your DUI report, it’s best to seek legal aid to understand the charges and their potential implications if you’re found guilty, and work to get them reduced when possible.