In Missouri DUI, driving under the influence, refers to driving under the influence of drugs, not alcohol. Drunk driving is typically referred to as DWI, or driving while intoxicated, in Missouri. The state of Missouri operates under a per se law in regards to DWI convictions. This law states that you can be arrested for DWI if your blood alcohol content (BAC) tests at .08% or higher. In other words, your driving could appear safe, but if there is enough alcohol in your system, you can be convicted of a DWI.DWI Arrests in Missouri
When you are pulled over on suspicion of DWI, the officer at the scene will ask you to submit to a BAC test. While you can refuse to take this test, doing so will be used against you in court. This could lead to tougher administrative penalties and a longer license suspension time. You may wish to contact an attorney before deciding whether or not to take the test. State law requires that you be given 20 minutes to try to talk to a lawyer to discuss your choice.
You will face two cases as a result of a Missouri DWI arrest, one in the criminal courts and an administrative hearing. If you refuse to take the BAC test or if the results are .08% or higher, you are only given 15 days to file the paperwork for the administrative driver's license hearing. Failing to property do so will result in a loss of driving privileges. For this reason, it is essential to have an attorney working with you to ensure that you have your hearing.Basic Consequences for First Time Offenders
If your Missouri DWI arrest is your first one, you can expect to face the following consequences:
If you are convicted of further DWI offenses within a five-year time period, you will face stricter consequences.License Suspensions for Missouri DWI
Besides the consequences you will face in your criminal court case, you will also need to attend your administrative hearing. During this hearing, your right to drive is at risk. If you lose your hearing, you will automatically lose your license for at least 30 days, without exception. Typical license suspension times for Missouri DWI offenses are as follows:
For a first offense you can apply for a hardship license after serving 30 days of your suspension. For second offenders the hardship license is available after two years of suspension. The hardship license allows driving to and from work, school, or alcohol treatment programs. If you refuse to take the BAC test, your license will be suspended for one year, and you will not be able to apply for the hardship license before you have served 90 days of your suspension.Insurance Consequences
Before you are granted your hardship driver's license, you will have to have proof of insurance. This requires you to have an SR-22 form filled out by your insurance company. However, as a result of your Missouri DWI conviction, you may find that you have lost your insurance. If you do not lose your insurance coverage, your rates will increase dramatically.