Missouri DWI

If you've been arrested for DWI (driving while intoxicated) or DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol), you need a lawyer now.

Missouri DWI Law

Your driver’s license could be suspended or revoked if you don't take action within 15 days of your arrest. You are at risk of suspension if the results of your test were above the Missouri's prohibited level (.08% for age 21 or over and .02%, under age 21) or if you refused to take a breath, blood, or urine test.

First Offense DWI

Conviction of a first DWI is a Class B misdemeanor, and the penalties can include:

  • Jail: Up to six months of imprisonment.
  • Fine: Up to $500. Court costs may also be between $10 and $100.
  • Probation: The general terms of probation are no drinking, do not break the law, attend SATOP classes, etc. Probation is usually for 1 to 2 years. A conviction with probation is commonly referred to as a "Suspended Imposition of Sentence" or SIS.
  • Suspension of driving privileges: A criminal conviction of a first time DUI results in a 30-day suspension of driving privileges followed by a 60-day restriction to driving only to and from work, in the course of employment, or to alcohol treatment. There are no hardships or exemptions available. This suspension goes on the person's driving record. The court may also require that a person be restricted to driving a motor vehicle that has an ignition interlock device while on probation. The device costs between $50 and $100 to install and $50 to $75 per month to maintain. A conviction will result in 8 points being assessed against the driver's license.

Second Offense DWI

Conviction of a second DWI within a five year period is a Class A misdemeanor, and the penalties can include:

  • Jail: Up to one year in jail.
  • Fine: Up to $1,000, plus court costs between $10 and $100.
  • Probation: Only after a person has served a mandatory minimum of 48 hours of incarceration are they eligible for probation. The jail requirement may be waived in lieu of doing 10 hours of community service. The terms of probation are standard: no breaking the law, no drinking, no going to places where alcohol is served, attend SATOP, etc. Court ordered AA meetings, outpatient treatment, or inpatient treatment programs are also a possibility. Probation will often be for a one or two year period.
  • Revocation of driver’s license: A criminal conviction of a second offense DWI within 5 years results in a 5-year revocation of driving privileges. A hardship license may not be applied until 2 of the 5-year revocation has been served. This suspension goes on the person's driving record. Twelve points are assessed against the driver's license, regardless of how old the first DWI conviction was. The court must also require that a person be restricted to driving a motor vehicle that has an ignition interlock device while on probation. The device costs between $50 and $100 to install and $50 to $75 per month to maintain.

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Third or Subsequent DWI Offense

Conviction of three or more DWIs within 10 years may mean that the driver is deemed to be a "persistent offender" and guilty of a Class D Felony. There will also be a 10-year denial of driving privileges. Penalties can include:

  • Jail: Up to five years in prison.
  • Fine: Up to $5,000, plus court costs between $10 and $100.
  • Probation: Missouri law prohibits a suspended execution of sentence for a felony DWI. The court may suspend execution of sentence after 10 days in jail or 60 days of community service. The defendant is then placed on probation.
  • Revocation of driving privileges: Upon a third or subsequent criminal conviction for DWI, the defendant's driver's license is revoked for 10 years, regardless of how old the two prior convictions are. These suspensions go on the person's driving record. If convicted of a felony DWI, no hardship license is available. If the DWI is a third offense, but not a felony, a hardship license may be applied for after three years. The court must also require that a person be restricted to driving a motor vehicle that has an ignition interlock device while on probation. The device costs $50 to $100 to install and $50 to $75 per month to maintain.

Missouri Implied Consent

Everyone who operates a motor vehicle in the state of Missouri gives his or her consent to have their breath, blood, urine, or other bodily substances tested for alcohol and/or drugs. This is known as Missouri's implied consent law. You are presumed to know and understand your rights and responsibilities concerning the testing of your breath or bodily fluids in relation to a DWI arrest.

The arresting officer will choose what type of test to administer. Under Missouri law, however, you are allowed 20 minutes to contact an attorney about whether you should submit to a test.

You also have the right to obtain your own test of your body fluids by a physician, qualified technician, chemist, registered nurse, or other qualified person after you have submitted to the officer's requested test.

Driver's License Consequences

In a Missouri DWI arrest, there are two separate cases: the court case and the driver's license case, which is filed by the Department of Revenue against the driver's license. If you are arrested for DWI, you have only 15 days from the date of arrest to have a hearing.

If you have been charged with a Missouri DWI in the Kansas City metro area, you need qualified and experienced legal counsel on your side. Remember that time limitations apply. Don’t let the 15-day window from the time of your arrest slip by. Contact the KC Traffic Lawyer, who can give you a solid chance of avoiding a DWI conviction. 

Missouri DWI Attorney in Kansas City

Attorney Timothy R. Tompkins is a native of the Kansas City area. He treats every client with the personal attention their situation demands and deserves. He is committed to effectively representing clients through each stage of the case, from requesting initial police reports to negotiating plea agreements to going to trial when necessary. If you’ve received a traffic violation or have committed a misdemeanor in the KC metro, you deserve quality legal representation. Contact the KC Traffic Lawyer for a case consultation today.