In Missouri, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or another controlled substance that would impair your driving ability. Additionally, Missouri law states that if you operate a motor vehicle on the roadways, you have given your implied consent to submit to chemical tests, including breath, saliva, blood, and urine. Depending on the nature of the offense, you can stand to be charged with either a DUI, DWI, or DUID (driving under the influence of drugs). However, no matter which term is used to describe what you’re being charged with, you will face the same penalties. The significant difference between these three crimes is how you can be charged with a DUID. DWI attorney Springfield explains:
When a person is pulled over under suspicion of a DWI in Missouri, it is usually because he or she is driving erratically. This can include swerving in-between lanes, failing to follow traffic laws, or driving too slowly. Once the person is pulled over, if the officer suspects that the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they will request that the driver perform a field sobriety test. A police officer may suspect that a person is under the influence of a controlled substance if he or she:
- Has bloodshot eyes
- Smells of alcohol or marijuana
- Behaving strangely
- Slurry words
- Can’t focus
- Enlarged pupils
As previously mentioned, in Missouri, if you operate a motor vehicle on public roadways, you have implied consent to submit to chemical testing. Refusal to perform field sobriety tests will result in an automatic suspension of your license. Still, it does not mean guilt to the crime. It is at this point that the officer may call in a specialist to have urine, blood, or saliva examined if the arresting officer believes that you may be under the influence of drugs. This is also the moment, where the evidence for a DUI changes. If you’ve been pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence and do submit to a breathalyzer, you can only be charged with a DUI or DWI if your BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) is at or above the legal limit, 0.08%. Whereas, if you are pulled over under suspicion of drugged driving in Springfield, and the tests come back positive for any illegal (and in some cases, not illegal) drugs in your system, you could be looking at DUID charges.
Let’s take a look at this another way, say a person is driving under the influence of alcohol and blows a .07%, that person is let go–they have not broken the law. On the flip side, let’s say that same person is under suspicion of drugged driving and submits to a urine test comes back positive for opiates, which they had a prescription for– in the eyes of Missouri, they have broken the law and may potentially be charged with a DUID.
Among the many other reasons, such as avoiding jail time, fines, probation, etc. the way the law is written makes it imperative to seek legal counsel if you are facing drugged driving charges in Springfield, MO.
Missouri DUID Penalties
If a person is charged and convicted of a DWI or DUID in Missouri, he or she will face similar penalties*. The following are the penalties for drugged driving in Missouri :
- First Offense – A first offense DUID is considered a Class B Misdemeanor. The offender will be required to participate and successfully complete a substance abuse offender program and could face jail time for up to six months. Administrative penalties include a mandatory 30-day license suspension.
- Second offense (within five years) – Is a Class A misdemeanor and carries with it five days mandatory jail time, with terms not to exceed one year and automatic two-year license suspension. The offender will also be required to perform 30 days of community service and pay fines up to $1,000.
- Third Offense – Is considered a Class D felony, where the offender is required to complete 60 days of community service, pay fines of up to $5,000, and will be imprisoned for a minimum of five days, not to exceed four years. Their license will be revoked for at least three years.
*Penalties for DUIDs and DWIS may fluctuate in terms of length of jail time and fines per case. No two cases are the same.
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges for driving under the influence in Springfield, MO, you need help fast. Call DWI Springfield to schedule a no-obligation consultation to discover what options are available for you.