Missouri Driving While Intoxicated Laws
The state of Missouri takes drinking alcohol and driving seriously. In the "Show Me State," driving while intoxicated (DWI) has major consequences including loss of liberty, a suspended or revoked driver's license, and huge fines if you are convicted.
A DWI can be committed when a driver is operating a motor vehicle and is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a combination of the two or has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher while driving. Extremely high penalties are imposed upon drivers with a prior criminal history of DWI convictions.
Suspended License and Restricted Driving Privileges (RDP)
In Missouri, your driving privilege will be suspended or revoked upon arrest for a DWI or driving with a 0.08 percent of alcohol in your system. Your license will be suspended for 90 days for a first-time DWI arrest, but penalties rise based upon your five-year Missouri driving record. In some cases, your license can be suspended or revoked for one year if you have had past alcohol or drug-related traffic convictions. You may be able to petition the court for a restricted license, however.
Will a License Suspension Go into Effect Immediately Upon Arrest?
No, there is a 15-day grace period between the time of the arrest and the time you be required to stop driving. If you want to contest the suspension, you must do so within 15 days of when the officer issues a Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privilege Form 2385 , typically the date of the arrest. Because of the time-sensitive nature of this matter, it is wise to get legal advice as soon as possible.
This chart lays out the basics of Missouri's DWI laws:
Missouri DWI Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent
|"Per Se" BAC Limit||0.08 Percent|
|Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit||0.02 Percent|
|Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit||0.15 Percent|
|Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test?||Yes|
Missouri DWI Laws: Select Penalties
|Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense)||30 days (plus 60 restricted) / 1 year / 1, 10 years (dual track criminal and administrative laws for license restrictions)|
|Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment||Yes|
|Vehicle Confiscation Possible?||Yes|
|Ignition Interlock Device Possible?||Yes (discretionary for first offenders; mandatory for repeat offenders)|
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Missouri DWI Resources:
Get Professional Help With Your DWI Case
If you had a few drinks and drove or were caught driving while under the influence of prescription drugs, a DWI conviction in Missouri can have a lasting impact on your future. A Missouri DWI attorney can help minimize the impact a DWI has on your life and your livelihood. Consider speaking to an experienced Missouri DWI attorney near you.