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DUI/DWI Basics

Missouri refers to both ‘driving under the influence’ and ‘driving while intoxicated’ as a DWI only and does not recognize DUI. A Missouri DWI is issued when an adult driver is operating a motor vehicle with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of .08 or when a driver under 21 years of age is operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .020.  A driver under 21 years of age who is found guilty of a DWI will always be subject to other penalties as per the Missouri Zero Tolerance law and will be penalized for any alcohol or drug related offense, even if the offense was not committed while operating a motor vehicle.


Drivers can be charged with ‘excessive blood alcohol content’ or a DWI, depending on the situation.
Missouri’s Implied Consent law mandates that the driver will be subjected to a chemical test, typically a breathalyzer, to determine their BAC.  If the driver refuses a chemical test, their license is suspended for one year in addition to all other suspensions and fines.


A Missouri DWI carries both Criminal and Administrative penalties.  In addition, you will be required to file an SR-22 with your insurance company. A first offense DWI is a Class B Misdemeanor and:

  • 8 points are added to your Missouri Driving Record
  • May result in jail time of up to 6 months
  • You will pay fines of up to $500 and your license will be suspended for 30 days with a 60 day restricted driving period to follow if you are an adult driver, and your license will be suspended for 90 days if you are under 21 years of age 
  • All DWI offenders are required to pay their fines and reinstatement fees, and also complete SATOP, the Missouri Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program, before their license is reinstated
  • Depending on your BAC at the time of arrest, you may also be required to complete an intensive weekend intervention program

 

A second Missouri DWI offense escalates to a Class A Misdemeanor and you are deemed a “Prior Offender:”

  • 12 points are added to your Missouri Driving Record
  • May result in jail time of up to 1 year with a minimum of 5 days served unless a minimum of 30 days of community service is performed (as per court approval)
  • You will pay fines of up to $1,000 and your license will be revoked for 1 year indefinitely and, if it is within 5 years of your previous DWI, you will receive a 5-year license denial
  • All DWI offenders are required to pay their fines and reinstatement fees, and also complete SATOP, the Missouri Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program, before their license is reinstated
  • Community Service of 30 days is required for probation
  • You will be required to take and pass both the written and driving portions of the Missouri Driving Test
  • An Ignition Interlock Device is required for 1 month

 

A subsequent Missouri DWI escalates to a Class D Felony and you are deemed a “Persistent Offender:”
12 points are added to your Missouri Driving Record

  • May result in jail time of up to 4 years with a minimum of 10 days served unless a minimum of 60 days of community service is performed (as per court approval)
  • You will pay fines of up to $5,000 and you will receive a 10-year license denial
  • All DWI offenders are required to pay their fines and reinstatement fees, and also complete SATOP, the Missouri Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program, before their license is reinstated
  • Community Service of 60 days is required for probation
  • You will be required to take and pass both the written and driving portions of the Missouri Driving Test

 

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