Missouri DWI Laws & Penalties

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missouri dwi laws and penalties, fines, license suspension, sr22 filing

The state of Missouri persues both Missouri DWI and Missouri DUIcases. A Missouri DWI commonly refers to a drunk driving violation, whereas a DUI refers to driving while under the influence of drugs. If you are arrested for a Missouri DWI it means that you were driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% or greater. This is true only of tests administered up to three hours after the arrest. The Missouri "per se" law allows police to arrest (and the courts to convict) even if your ability to drive was not impaired if you submitted a chemical test of .08% or greater.

If you are arrested on charges of Missouri DWI and refuse to take the blood alcohol test, or if you did take the test and you were above the legal limit, you can lose your license. You have fifteen days after the arrest to take action to protect your driving privilege. It is crucial to have the help of a lawyer for this! 

Penalties for Missouri DWI

A Missouri DWI is considered a misdemeanor, provided it is a first offense. In this case, you will be facing a possible jail sentence of up to six months. Also, you will have to pay a fine that cannot exceed $500. Keep in mind, though, that you will also be responsible for paying for your court and incarceration costs. You will lose your license for 30 days, and also face a 60-day restricted driving period. During this restricted time you can drive to and from work and your alcohol education classes. Also, this will be part of your permanent driving record. 

A Missouri DWI conviction also carries the requirement of attending the Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program, or SATOP. The SATOP class costs $190. You will also have to pay to have your license reinstated when you complete the class. 

The court also has the option to ask a first time Missouri DWI arrestee to drive only with an ignition interlock device for the duration of the probation period, which is 1 to 2 years. This device will keep the car from starting when the driver has alcohol in his system. This device comes with a monthly maintenance fee that will be your responsibility. 

Finally, remember that your Missouri DWI will cause your insurance premiums to increase significantly. No matter if there were injuries or not due to your driving drunk, you will see a huge rise in premiums. You may even lose your current coverage and be forced to seek alternative car insurance. 

Here is a summary of the punishments faced for a Missouri DWI: 

Missouri DWI First Offense

  • Class B misdemeanor
  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • Up to $500 in fines
  • 1 to 2 years probation
  • 90 day drivers license suspension (temporary after 30 days)

Missouri DWI Second Offense

  • Class A misdemeanor
  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • 1 to 2 years probation
  • 5 years drivers license suspension

Missouri DWI Third Offense

  • Class D Felony
  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • Up to $5,000 in fines
  • 1 to 2 years probation
  • 10 years drivers license suspension

Missouri BAC Assumptions

  • BAC reading of .08 or greater is evidence of intoxication at the time the test was taken.

Missouri Implied Consent Laws

  • Chemical testing is allowed. Blood, breath, urine or saliva.
  • The arresting officer is required to advise the defendant of the penalties for refusal. A test refusal is admissible in court. The defendant has 20 minutes to contact an attorney.
  • Tests resulting in a BAC reading of .08 or greater result in a 30 day suspension.
  • Test refusal results in a 1 year license revocation, is admissible in court. The completion of a substance abuse traffic offender program may be required for a license to be reistated.
  • PBT test results are admissible as evidence of probable cause, but not as evidence of BAC level.

Chemical Testing

  • Blood draws for police testing must be administered by a licensed physician, registered nurse or other qualified person.
  • The defendent has the right to have an independent chemical test done by a qualified person. The independent test costs are the defendant's responsibility.
  • Test results must be provided to the defendant and their Missouri DWI attorney upon request.

Missouri SR22 Insurance

In Missouri, after you get a DWI conviction in order to get your drivers license back you'll be required to carry what's known as a SR22 insurance policy for a period of 3 years.  The SR22 insurance policy is a high risk auto insurance policy that is mandated by the Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles and provided by smaller companies that specialize in this type of auto insurance.

We have worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.  You won't be able to find a cheaper SR22 insurance policy in Missouri for any less.  Type in your zip code below so we can provide the cheapest rates in your area.

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Additional Missouri DWI Resources

  • Missouri DWI First Offense - Detailed first offense information including punishments after a first offense DWI in Missouri.

  • 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 MO SR22 insurance.

  • Missouri DWI Lawyers - Contact one of our Missouri DWI lawyers today.

  • Missouri SATOP - We offer a complete listing of Missouri's approved substance abuse traffic offender's programs.