Missouri DWI Laws
If you have been arrested for DWI in Missouri, you likely have lots of questions about what happens next. The Missouri DWI Laws page is full of important information regarding Missouri DWI law, penalties, and procedures. This is NOT a government resource or an official document, it’s always advisable to speak with an attorney regarding laws and your specific situation.
Missouri DWI laws are unique in contrast to other crimes because there are both criminal and administrative actions that the state can take against you if you’ve been arrested for a DWI in the State of Missouri.
- Criminal charges are issues under the courts, administrative charges through the Department of Revenue
- A DWI in Missouri can carry a mixture of fines, jail, loss of driving priveledges and other penalties
- Even though Missouri DWI laws are the same for everyone, punishment will vary depending on your situation
Talk with a Lawyer about Missouri DWI Laws.
This page was developed by a DWI lawyer in Springfield MO, who defends clients in courts, but there are plenty of good reasons not to try and figure this out by yourself.
- A prosecutor, who’s only job is to convict you will your opponent in court
- Missouri DWI laws are not insanely complicated, but successfully winning a not-guilty verdict is much harder
- Lawyers are legal experts who know Missouri DWI laws and will fight for your best interests
Law Office of Timothy R. Brown
Tim Brown is a criminal and DWI lawyer in Springfield, MO and former assistant prosecuting attorney at the Greene County Prosecutors’s Office.
Tim is listed among the Nation’s Top 1% of Attorneys by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Attorney Tim Brown has been recognized as a Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyer in Criminal Defense in Missouri by the National Trial Lawyers and the American Society of Legal Advocates. He has also been given a Superb Rating and rated a Top Attorney in DUI and Criminal Defense by AVVO.
Missouri DWI Laws
In Missouri, it’s an offense to drive with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or above, but for those under 21, the legal limit is only .02% blood alcohol content. The state has laws that govern arrests and convictions of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) individuals. The laws of Missouri that cover DWIs, BAC and other alcohol-related driving offenses are codified in the Missouri Revised Statutes.
If you have a CDL, the limit is lower when operating a commercial vehicle.
Provisions include Missouri DWI penalties for first, second, and third time offenders. The offenses also include other drugs and controlled substances such as marijuana or cocaine.
If you are you arrested with DWI, you have to attend a class called SATOP. First, you are required schedule a screening test. Screening determines what class level you may be approved to join. Total costs vary with class level, but screening is charged $375.
Missouri DWI Laws: Criminal Law
This law deals with the ticket that was issued. If you are convicted of an alcohol offense, the court sends a copy of the conviction to the department, and the proper points are assessed to your driver record. As a result of the point assessment, your driving privilege may be suspended or revoked.
Missouri laws are strict on alcohol-related driving offenses. The possible punishment for a DWI charge depends on if you have a history of DWIs and are in addition to the license suspension mentioned above. The statements below are assuming that the prior DWI/BAC offenses had resulted in a plea or finding of guilt or nolo contender prior to the current offense occurring. Additionally, the following are for DWI offenses alleged to have occurred after January 1, 2017. If your alleged driving while intoxicated incident occurred before that date, please call our office for a free consultation. Mr. Brown will meet with you and discuss the consequences based on the law prior to January 1, 2017.
Missouri DWI Laws: Administrative Law
This law imposes a separate suspension or revocation of the driving privilege if your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is over the legal limit or you refuse the BAC test(s). This is an automatic suspension or revocation, even if the ticket was disposed of in court or reduced to a lesser charge.
If you are arrested for driving with a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent or higher, the offense is processed administratively as well as criminally. Minors arrested or stopped with .020% or higher blood alcohol content are also subject to the administrative sanctions under sections 302.500 through 302.540, RSMo.
Missouri DWI Penalties
DWI Missouri First Offense
A DWI Missouri first offense is classified as a Class B misdemeanor offense. According to the Missouri DWI laws, offenders charged and convicted have to incur fines and Missouri DWI penalties. Some include fines as high as $500 or a six month jail time administered by the department of corrections. However, you are eligible for probation.
In case you are stopped and refuse to take a blood-alcohol test, you face a one-year license revocation as punishment. In some cases, you might also face ignition interlock upon license reinstatement.
License suspension is also not uncommon as a DWI Missouri offense punishment. You might endure one month of full suspension followed by two months of restricted driving. Restricted driving allows you to drive to and from work to your SATOP class, and during an emergency only.
After the three months, you are eligible to receive a limited license or better yet, get your license reinstated. However, you need to meet specific legal requirements. One requirement includes filing a Missouri SR22 policy document as proof that you have auto insurance coverage. You should also have portrayed good behavior during probation.
DWI Missouri Second Offense
If you are guilty of DWI twice within five years, you are charged and convicted of a DWI Missouri second offense. Prior offenders are charged under Class A misdemeanor offenses law. According to Missouri DWI laws, fines and penalties for a second-time offender include a mandatory 48 hours imprisonment which may be followed by a one year jail time and fines as high as $1000.
Second-time offenders are also eligible for probation. The period falls anywhere between one and two years. However, you have to serve ten days jail time or perform 240 hours of community service. Probation includes attending approved SATOP classes and staying alcohol or drug-free during the entire period.
A second blood alcohol test refusal might cost you a one-year license revocation. Also, an ignition interlock will be required after reinstatement.
As a two-time DWI offender within five years, your license will be revoked as punishment. You will have to bear two years before you are eligible for a hardship license. If an arrest does not fall within five years from the previous conviction, first offense rules apply.
At the end of the revocation period, you may apply for a limited license or get your license reinstated. However, you need to have met specific legal requirements. One requirement includes filing a Missouri SR22 policy document as proof that you have auto insurance coverage. You should also have portrayed good behavior during probation.
DWI Missouri Third Offense
Should you be guilty of DWI three times within ten years, you are charged and convicted of a DWI Missouri third offense. Persistent offenders charged under Class D Felony offenses law. Fines and Missouri DWI penalties for a three-time offender include a mandatory ten days imprisonment which may be followed four years jail time and fines as high as $5000.
The probation period for a three-time offender lies between one to two years. To be eligible for probation, you have to serve the 30 days jail time or perform 480 hours of community service. Probation includes attending approved SATOP classes and staying alcohol or drug-free during the entire period.
A third blood alcohol test refusal is punishable by a year’s license revocation. After the end of that year, you may apply for reinstatement, but you will bear with an ignition interlock.
As a three-time DWI offender within ten years, your license will be revoked as punishment. You will have to bear ten years before you are eligible for a hardship license. If an arrest does not fall within five years from the previous conviction, first offense rules apply.
After serving a few years of the revocation period, you may apply for a limited license. At the end of the revocation, you might get your license reinstated. However, you need to have met specific legal requirements. One requirement includes filing a Missouri SR22 policy document as proof that you have auto insurance coverage. You should also have portrayed good behavior during probation.
DWI Missouri Fourth Offense
Also, driving while intoxicated that results in the physical injury of a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel may be charged as a class D felony. The punishment can be a fine not to exceed $5,000 and/or a jail or prison sentence not to exceed seven years. The sentence can be up to one year in jail or up to seven years in the Department of Corrections. A fourth DWI offense is an aggravated offense and a person is not eligible for parole or probation on an aggravated DWI offense unless he or she has served at least sixty days imprisonment.
DWI Missouri Fifth Offense
Also, driving while intoxicated that results in serious physical injury to a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel may be charged as a class C felony. A fifth DWI is a chronic offense and the offender shall not be eligible for probation or parole until having served two years imprisonment. The range of punishment on a class C felony is from three to ten years in prison.
DWI Missouri Sixth Offense
Additionally, a person that causes the death of a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel while driving while intoxicated may be charged with the class B felony of driving while intoxicated. A conviction for the sixth DWI offense is this offense requires two years in the Department of Corrections prior to being eligible for parole. The sentence may be anywhere from five to fifteen years in the Department of Corrections. A sixth DWI is a habitual offense and the offender shall not be eligible for probation or parole until having served two years imprisonment. The range of punishment on a class B felony is five to fifteen years in prison.
DWI Missouri Seventh Offense
A seventh DWI is a chronic offense and the offender shall not be eligible for probation or parole until having served two years imprisonment. The range of punishment on a class A felony is ten to thirty years in prison.
DWI Missouri Aggravated Offense
According to Missouri DWI laws, if you are found guilty of DWI at least three times you are classified as an aggravated offender. An aggravated offender is charged under Class C Felony offense laws. The Missouri DWI penalties for an aggravated offender include a mandatory 60 days imprisonment followed by jail time of up to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Aggravated offenders are not eligible for probation or community service.
DWI Missouri Chronic Offender
According to Missouri DWI laws, if you are found guilty of DWI at least four or more times you are classified as a chronic offender. The Missouri DWI penalties for a chronic offender include a mandatory two years minimum in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Chronic offenders are not eligible for probation or parole until the end of the imprisonment period.
Missouri DWI Costs, Classes, SATOP
Ticket Costs of a Missouri DWI
For a first offense DWI, typically, there are court costs you would have to pay. Those range anywhere from fifty dollars up to a couple hundred dollars, depending on what court you are in. Sometimes, also along with the court cost are fines. Normally people are pulled over for speeding or weaving or something like that. There are usually fines on the companion ticket for the DWI. Usually, the fines on the companion ticket are usually anywhere from three to five hundred dollars.
Depending on their income level. Sometimes they will give you a break on the cost. You have to fill out a form in order to see if you qualify for a reduction in the fees.
Ignition Interlock Device Costs
There’s a hookup fee of a certain amount to get the device hooked up to your car. Then, usually, the fees run around a hundred dollars a month for the ignition interlock.
Attorney Costs of a Missouri DWI
Attorney costs vary and might change depending on your case. A recent survey from NOLO of nationwide attorney fees found an average of $1,900 for a first-time offense. Of course, this will all depend on your location, quality of attorney, and case specifics.
Missouri DWI Classes (SATOP)
In Missouri when you are arrested for DWI you typically have to go to a class called SATOP. The way it works is you initially have to schedule a screening, which determines which class you go into. The total cost just to do the screening is $375. Then there is an additional cost for the class, depending on which class you get. If you get the level one class, it is an additional $130. It goes all the way up to level four. If you get the level four class, there is an additional $1,500 that you have to pay.
We Know Missouri DWI Laws
If you have been arrested for a DWI in Missouri, we can answer all of your questions and provide aggressive, ethical representation.
Why hire me? A good DWI defense requires an attorney that keeps up on changes in the law. If you have been charged or arrested for a DWI in the Springfield area, call us today for a FREE CASE EVALUATION. You won’t speak with a paralegal. You’ll speak directly with the lawyer that will handle your DWI case should you hire our office.
Missouri DWI Expungement
Missouri DWI Expungement
The Missouri DWI statute addressing DWI expungements is unique. Apart from the Missouri DWI expungement, the legislature added other categories of offenses that can be removed from your record. The offenses include some nonviolent felonies as well as misdemeanors.
If you wish to request for expungement, you must meet all requirements laid out in Missouri DWI statute.
First, you must prove that your DWI charge was the first alcohol-related driving offense.
Second, you must show that the offense was a misdemeanor and not a serious felony.
Third, you must prove that you were not convicted within the last ten years.
Fourth, you must prove that you have not been charged with a second Missouri DWI offense. Lastly, you must provide proof that you do not have any alcohol-related pending charges at the time of the Missouri DWI expungement request.
A Missouri DWI Laws Specialist
Were you charged with Driving While Intoxicated? If so, put a FORMER PROSECUTOR on your side.
Tim started his legal career filing and prosecuting DWI cases. He is now a criminal defense attorney and defended countless people with their alcohol-related charges including people with a single DWI offense or multiple offenses.
If you’ve been charged with DWI, don’t wait until your court date to talk with an attorney about your charge. Being pulled over for a DWI can have significant consequences.
Missouri DWI, BAC, DUI Explained
In Missouri, there is no difference between a DWI and DUI. The terms are essentially the same, DUI is a term used in numerous other states for the same law, which is the source of confusion. The term that has been accepted in Missouri is DWI.
BAC is a slightly different charge and can be applied any time a blood, breath or urine test shows the driver operated a car, truck or other motor vehicles in Missouri with a BAC of .08 or beyond.
In contrast, a person is guilty of a DWI if “he operates a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition.”
The primary difference is that a Missouri driver can be convicted of a DWI if the impairment is proven without evidence of an actual BAC exceeding .08, but a BAC charge requires conclusive evidence of a .08 BAC or higher.
These are two separate charges and the nuances can be very confusing. DWIs and other alcohol-related offenses are perhaps the most technically challenging court case due to the testing, changing protocols, and reliance on the officer’s perception.
It’s highly advisable to speak with a DWI lawyer in Missouri, who consistently works to improve their knowledge of the prevailing testing methods, prosecution strategies and trends in Missouri law enforcement.
Missouri DWI License Issues
License Issues Resulting from a DWI
Are you wondering what will happen with your driver’s license because you received a ticket for DWI? Depending on if you refused a breath test or provided a breath sample, different actions must be taken to fight the loss of your driver’s license. An experienced DWI lawyer can help. If you do nothing, your license will be suspended or revoked 15 days after you were given notice of your upcoming license suspension or revocation.
Call our DWI lawyer today to find out how we can help fight the loss of your driver’s license by requesting and conducting a hearing. You may qualify for a temporary driving privilege in the meantime. License suspensions may also occur based on the DWI ticket you received after it is resolved in the court system. These license suspensions may run concurrently with (at the same time as) the suspensions listed above. Contact an experienced DWI attorney to find out more information.
License Loss Caused by Missouri DWI Laws
Refusal versus Providing a Breath Sample:
A refusal can lead to a one-year license suspension and there is a deadline on the time to file a Petition with the Circuit Court to fight the license loss. Providing a breath sample can lead to a shorter suspension and the time-frame to request a hearing regarding this type of suspension is much shorter but easier to file.
Missouri DWI Laws on Limited Driving Privilege
For 5 and 10 year denials, a Petition must be filed in court to receive a limited driving privilege. If you would like to apply for a limited driving privilege, please call our office to schedule an appointment.
Additionally, some circumstances will keep an individual from obtaining a limited driving privilege.
Reinstatement after a DWI in Missouri
There are generally three requirements to be reinstated after a DWI. Other requirements may be present also. The three general requirements are:
- a $45 reinstatement fee.
- Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP). SATOP consists of two parts: (1) a screening process which determines which educational or rehabilitation program will be required and (2) the program itself. The program assigned is subject to review through the court. This means that some individuals assigned to a specific program can request a court review to determine if that particular program is required for that individual.
- SR22 Insurance (unless you are under 21 years of age). SR22 is a certificate of insurance that you can request your insurance agency to provide to the Missouri Department of Revenue.
Additionally, with a second or subsequent DWI offense, you may be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in any vehicle you operate. This is a device that must be blown into to register the operator of the vehicle’s breath alcohol concentration (BrAC). These units are now equipped with GPS and a camera to verify the operator of the vehicle is the person blowing into the IID.
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