December 19, 2017
Missouri DUI & DWI 101
Drunk driving charges in Missouri are broken into two categories — driving while intoxicated and driving under the influence. Each offense has different consequences which vary depending on the circumstances. Therefore, Missouri law prosecutes drunk driving offenses in two different ways. For those who are legal trouble because of a driving while intoxicated or under the influence offense, the following is an outline of what happens during the process — from sobriety tests to fines and time in jail.
Evidence For Prosecutors
Evidence can include field sobriety tests, driving patterns, physical appearance, blood alcohol content, and chemical tests. However, under these charges, an individual may be released from custody even though his/her blood alcohol content level was above the legal limit. Dropped charges under these circumstances can happen as some individuals are not intoxicated despite having blood alcohol content levels above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
When an individual passes their driver’s test and receives a driver’s license he/she gives implied consent to submit to chemical testing when requested by a police officer. If the police have reason to question an individual’s level of sobriety, they may legally ask for a blood alcohol content test, a urine test, or a breath test. If the individual refuses to submit to any testing, he/she will automatically have their license suspended.
If the matter goes to trial, a jury or a judge will assume that test refusal is evidence of guilt. Suspension of a driver’s license is normal for a drunk driving charge, but when he/she refuses chemical testing the driver’s license suspension will be longer and will be absolute.
Missouri DUI Consequences
The consequences of most crimes depend on the number of prior offenses and individual has. Drunk driving offenses can be exacerbated if a minor was in the vehicle upon the arrest, if the individual was driving above the speed limit, if others were injured, or if the individual’s blood alcohol content was double the legal limit. All third or subsequent DUI offenses are considered felony offenses.
- A first DUI offense can result in a five-hundred-dollar fine, no more than six months in jail, two years of probation, an ignition interlock device, and driver’s license suspension for thirty days.
- A second DUI offense can land you in jail for up to one year, a fine up to one thousand dollars, two years of probation, an ignition interlock device, and driver’s license suspension for up to five years.
- A third DUI offense can earn up to four years of incarceration, a five-thousand-dollar fine, and driver’s license suspension for up to 10 years.
- A fourth DUI offense can get you up to seven years of incarceration, up to five thousand dollars in fines, and a driver’s license suspension for a minimum of 10 years.