Jimerson Law Firm, P.C.

How Is A DUI Defined In Missouri?


In Missouri, the terms DWI (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol) and A DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) are the same legal monsters when charged. That is, they carry the same penalties and consequences if convicted. Specifically, a D.W.I. is defined in Missouri as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of

  • 08% or more
  • 04% or more in a commercial vehicle
  • 02% or more, if you are a minor

A DWI in Missouri is driving under the influence of a drugs or alcohol. The measure to determine criminality is the authorized drawing of blood from the accused driver. A person can be charged with a DWI even though the level of alcohol is at a “non-chargeable” rate if there is the reason to believe the ingestion of drugs is suspected.

What Are The Top Misconceptions People Have About Being Arrested For A DUI?

The top misconception is the mistaken gravity of the pending matter. It’s more than a simple traffic ticket these days. A DWI conviction can eliminate or severely restrict any economical social climbing aspirations of the accused. It can cause you to lose your license, a job associated with having a valid driver’s license; subject you to public ridicule by posting the arrests in local hometown newspapers, etc. They are public knowledge not only to the State Department of Revenue, but open records to all that have an interest in seeing it. That promotion you looked forward to; that position on the Board of Directors or the Boy Scouts, are all potentially gone. Another one is “any lawyer can fix it for me!” A serious mistake. DWI/DUI defense practice has practically morphed into a specialized area that only the skilled lawyers should venture representing a charged person.

What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When They Have Been Arrested For A DUI?

In Missouri, the common mistakes are many. Some people refuse to blow in the field breath analyzer. A refusal automatically suspends the privilege of driving for up to one year. Other mistakes are the talkative driver who thinks that arguing with the patrol officer, or confessing to drinking will cause him to change his mind. A big mistake and probably an incentive for the officer to insure this charge sticks! Other mistakes include letting the time for an administrative review pass and upholding the suspension period. Some drivers are simply embarrassed and resort to the shaming by sticking their head in the sand. The prosecutor will try to convict you, the papers will try to sell salacious snippets about you, etc. We believe there is nothing embarrassing about fighting for your rights. In fact, nothing can elevate you more than when you fight back.

Why Is It Not Advisable To Plead Guilty To DUI Charges?

Defending DWI/DUI charges takes a special skill set. Likewise, being motivated to take a quick plea to just get it over with requires a special skill set by the prosecutor. Its call pressure, fear, embarrassment, and any other descriptive word that captures the emotion to make an individual give up something so precious as their right to liberty. There are several factors that must be considered when defending a DWI/DUI case. The first is whether the person was “actually driving”. That seems simple but there are many cases in Missouri on this point. But let’s go further, the person must be in “actual physical control” of the vehicle. Just sitting in a car is not enough. Sitting behind the wheel and the car is not running is not enough. My mantra spoken to all clients is “Don’t just give away your rights!” A DWI can have life changing effects on your right to drive, job, reputation, or restriction in public service.

Is The Driver’s License Confiscated When Someone Is Arrested For A DUI?

In Missouri, you have 15 days after receiving your “Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privilege” from the state. Your driving license will be suspended from that date unless you request a hearing

Are Hardship, Occupational Or Work Licenses Available In Missouri?

These are available in Missouri which are called Limited Driving Privileges. Limited access to drive to and from essential places will be allowed unless there is a legitimate and legal reason to deny the request.

For more information on DUI Cases In Missouri, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (314) 786-3536 today.

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