In Missouri, driving under the influence (DUI) is also known as driving while intoxicated (DWI). If you operate a motor vehicle with a BAC (blood-alcohol content) of .08 or higher, you will be charged with DUI. Blood-alcohol content is the measure of alcohol in your blood.
In most states, you will be required to take DUI alcohol screenings if your permit, license, or driving privileges has been suspended due to DUI. The test is completed by a behavioral specialist at an approved counseling facility.
What is the DUI process in Missouri like?
If you get pulled over and the officer on site suspects you are intoxicated, you will likely undergo a field sobriety test. Standard field sobriety tests include:
- Standing on one foot
- Walking in a straight line then stopping and walking back
- Following a light with just your eyes while keeping your neck and head still
You will be placed under arrest on suspicion of drinking and driving if you fail the tests. You will also be asked to submit to BAC testing. If you refuse, your driver’s license will be suspended immediately.
What should you do if you get slappedcharged with a DUI?
At the time of your arrest, you have the right to an attorney. You should take advantage of said right and get an attorney who can represent you. If you are in police custody, it would be best to have someone you trust find a competent attorney.
You can also ask family members and friends if they know a good DUI lawyer. Another option you have is to search for lawyers online. Nowadays, several sites can connect you with a DUI attorney.
If charged with DUI, you will have an arraignment. At the arraignment, you can either plead guilty or not guilty to the charges. Your lawyer will educate you on the consequences of your plea.
A judge will sentence you if you plead guilty. If you plead otherwise, a trial date will be set. During the trial, you and your attorney will present evidence to convince a jury or judge that you are innocent.
What are the penalties of afor DUI conviction in Missouri?
You must be aware of the penalties you will face if you are charged with a DUI in Missouri. The severity of the punishment you will receive is dependent on several factors, including prior DUI history.
First Time Offenders
- Fines of up to $500
- Full license suspension for 30 days (60 days restricted)
- Up to six months in jail
Second Time Offenders
- Fines of up to $1,000
- One year license suspension (or five years if the second offense was within five years of the previous offense)
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (prevents the car from starting if the driver’s BAC is below a specific limit)
- Up to a year in jail
Third Time Offenders
- Fines of up to $5,000
- Ten-year license suspension
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- Up to four years in jail
What is Missouri’s new DUI law all about?
Missouri’s legislature enacted effective August 2010, a n ew Missouri DUI law. Some of the things the law accomplished include:
- Creation of a centralized reporting database so DUI offenses can be tracked
- Prevention of municipal court hearings if the offender already has two or more offenses.
- Allowing DUI courts to facilitate treatment for repeat offenders and those with very high BAC levels.
- Establishment of criteria for qualifying graduates and participants of a DWI court program to secure a court-ordered limited driving privilege.
- Prohibition of first alcohol-related driving offense from being removed or expunged from the person’s record if he has another alcohol-related action pending or alcohol-related contact on file.
When charged with DUI in Missouri, you must get a lawyer as soon as possible. Their expert help and guidance can help ensure you can resolve the matter in the best way possible.