Missouri First Offense DWI Laws
In the State of Missouri, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 or higher. If you are caught doing so, you will be charged with a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated).
In Missouri, "first offense" means that you haven't been convicted of an alcohol-related offense in the previous 5 years. If you are unsure as to whether or not your offense qualifies as a "first offense", consult your DWI attorney.
If you have been arrested for a first offense DWI, the first thing you will want to do is talk to an experienced Missouri DWI attorney. Missouri DWI law is complicated, and you do not want to try to go it alone.
Missouri First Offense DWI Penalties:
If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Missouri, you face two separate sections of Missouri law: Criminal Alcohol Law and Administrative Alcohol Law.
Criminal Alcohol Law happens through the courts, and includes jail time and fines. Administrative Alcohol Law happens through the Department of Revenue, which handles the suspensions of driver's licenses.
If you are arrested for a DWI, the police will take your driver's license and issue you a Notice of Suspension. If the officer decides to do so, he or she may also mark on the notice that you have a temporary (15 day) permit to drive. The Notice of Suspension will also include a form that you can use to request an administrative hearing.
Important: You have only those 15 days to request an administrative hearing. If you do not request an administrative hearing, your driver's license will automatically be suspended for 30 days, even if you are found not guilty in court. Contact our Missouri DWI lawyers today to get your hearing scheduled.
If you request an administrative hearing, the Department of Revenue will schedule your hearing, and it can often be held over the phone. If the hearing determines that your automatic suspension stands, your driver's license will be suspended for 30 days.
Your suspension begins 15 days after the final order of the hearing officer is mailed from the Department of Revenue. If you choose not to request a hearing, your suspension begins 15 days after your arrest.
Your suspension will be followed by a 60 day restricted driving privilege. After this 90 day period, your driver's license will be eligible for full reinstatement. Before reinstatement you will have to provide the DMV with proof of an SR22 insurance filing. You can obtain your SR22 insurance policy and filing by entering your zip code below and completing the short form on the following page:
Criminal Penalties for a Missouri DWI first offense include up to 6 months in jail and up to $500 in fines.
Getting Your Missouri Driver's License Reinstated:
In order to get your Missouri driver's license fully reinstated, you will need to:
- Complete a SATOP (Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program). If you have questions about SATOP, call the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse at 573.522.4020.
- Pay a reinstatement fee of $45. You can pay this over the phone with any major credit card, or through the mail by check or money order made payable to the Missouri Department of Revenue.
- Purchase Missouri SR22 insurance. You will need to contact your auto insurance company for this requirement.
Missouri SR22 Insurance:
An SR22 form is proof of future financial responsibility. The form is issued by your insurance company. It proves to the Missouri Department of Revenue that you are in fact fully insured. You will need to carry this high risk insurance for 2 years from the first day of your suspension. If you do not, your driver's license will be suspended again for the remainder of the 2 years.
SR22 insurance can be expensive, so you want to make sure you find a competitive rate. You can compare rates from the top insurance companies in Missouri by entering your zip code here:
Missouri Ignition Interlock Program:
Missouri does not currently have an ignition interlock program.
Implied Consent Law:
Missouri has an Implied Consent Law. This means that if you drive in Missouri, you agree to submit to a chemical blood alcohol test if asked to do so. This does not mean that you have to submit to a field sobriety test. Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test is a criminal offense.
Other Missouri DWI Resources
Missouri DWI Laws - A complete overview of Missouri DWI laws including fines, jail time and penalties for each offense.
Missouri SR22 Insurance - Learn everything you need to know about Missouri SR22 filing requirements with the DMV and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your Missouri SR22 insurance.
Missouri DWI Lawyers - Contact one of our Missouri DWI lawyers today.
Missouri SATOP Programs - We offer a complete listing of Missouri state approved SATOP programs.