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Receiving a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense in Missouri can be devastating, especially if it is your first time. The state of Missouri takes a strict stance on drinking and driving.

Drivers convicted of a DWI can face severe penalties, which can include fines, jail time and suspension of a driver’s license. 

Tests for a DWI

Authorities will test a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) if they suspect someone is driving while intoxicated. Under Missouri DWI laws, the only evidence needed to convict a driver of a DWI is a BAC of 0.08 percent or more. Missouri is also a “zero tolerance” state, which means people under 21 years old can receive a DWI conviction with a BAC of 0.02 percent or more.

Commercial vehicle drivers in Missouri must be especially careful. Commercial vehicle drivers can receive a DWI conviction if their BAC tests 0.04 percent or more. Additionally, drivers that report a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher can receive an aggravated DUI conviction, which might result in a felony charge.

Penalties for a DWI

Drivers that receive a DWI conviction in Missouri can face harsh penalties under the law. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, first time DWI offenders can receive a misdemeanor. Jail time for a DWI misdemeanor can be anywhere between two days and six months, depending on a person’s BAC levels.

Penalties increase the more DWI convictions a driver receives. If a driver receives a second conviction, courts can order a sentence of 10 days to 30 days in jail. For three or more convictions, courts can impose a minimum sentence starting between three months and 24 months in jail.

Additionally, drivers convicted of a DWI can face severe fines and suspensions. For a first DWI offense, drivers might have to pay a fine up to $500. DWI fines can increase if a driver receives additional DWI convictions. Additionally, driver’s license suspensions can last between three months and several years, depending on the number of convictions.

Courts might also require DWI offenders to attend alcohol treatment programs or install alcohol detection devices in their cars. Do not let a drunk driving offense ruin your life. If you recently received a DWI charge, consult with a DWI attorney to discuss your options.