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Missouri Legal Alcohol Limit
Under Missouri law, if you drive with a BAC of 0.08% or above, you can be charged with DWI. Missouri upholds “per se” BAC limit DWI law which means that no other evidence of impairment is necessary to convict you if your BAC is above this limit.
If you have a BAC of 0.15% or higher, you could also be facing an enhanced penalty and a conviction of aggravated DWI. If convicted of “aggravated DWI” you could be facing even more severe penalties. Missouri also has a “zero tolerance law” that means that if you are caught driving with a BAC level of 0.02% and you are under the legal age to drink, you can also be facing charges for DWI.
Being pulled over for any reason while you are driving can cause anyone to worry, even if you weren't doing anything wrong. Law enforcement officials may not immediately explain what is going on and you could quickly find yourself being arrested. If you have been arrested for a DWI ("DUI") offense, speaking with a Springfield DWI lawyer right away is vital.
Our Springfield DUI attorney is prepared to help you if you have been charged with DWI after driving over the legal BAC limit. Do not hesitate to start your DUI defense by calling (417) 213-5441 today.
Knowing the Difference: DWI vs. DUI in Missouri
While DWI is the preferred legal term in Missouri, both twos refer to the same charge. A DWI refers to a driver driving while intoxicated, while a DUI refers to a driver who is charged with driving under the influence — the same charge, just different terminology.
Both DUIs and DWIs are serious criminal charges under Missouri law, even on the first offense, and are charged as such. A driver is considered intoxicated if they:
- Are under the influence of any combination of drugs, alcohol, or controlled substances.
- Have an excessive blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .04% or more for commercial drivers and .08% or more for all other drivers.
Consequences of DWI Charges in Springfield, MO
DUI/DWI offenses are taken very seriously in the eyes of the law, as driving intoxicated is very dangerous. Our Springfield DWI lawyers want to help keep you out of jail and prevent a conviction, which can affect your life in a number of ways and lead to a mark on your record.
There are many possible penalties of a Missouri DWI conviction, including:
- DUI/DMV school
- Community service
- Jail or prison sentence
- License suspension
- Monetary fines
First Offense DUI/DWI Penalties in Missouri
Under Missouri law, if you are charged with DWI for the first time you could face the following penalties:
- Up to 6 months in jail
- Misdemeanor conviction on record
- $1,000 maximum fine
- Driver’s License Suspension for 30 days after which you may have a 60-day restricted license
- Ignition Interlock Device for 60 days
What Happens if I’m Pulled Over for Another DUI?
Studies show that Missouri has the 14th-highest rate of drunk driving fatalities in the nation and sees a high level of drunk driving charges annually. Drivers who are charged with a subsequent DWI may have questions about what happens next and the penalties they may face. Our skilled Missouri DWI attorneys at Cole & Martin Attorneys at Law, LLC can help fight for the best result.
When Is a DWI Considered a Repeat Offense in MO?
Under Missouri state law, drivers can be charged with a DUI if they're found to be operating a vehicle in an 'intoxicated condition.' A DWI is considered a first offense if the driver has no other charges within the last five years and no more than one DWI conviction in their lifetime. If a driver is charged again, it will be a second or subsequent DWI.
Missouri 2nd DWI Penalties
DUID Penalties in Missouri
Unlike alcohol, there are no ready-made tests to detect a certain amount of drugs within a person’s system. If a police officer decides you are guilty of impaired driving, it’s likely to be their word over yours, regardless of the circumstances. In Missouri, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) is a crime punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
What Should I Do After an Arrest in Missouri?
When you are first pulled over for DUI/DWI, there are several tests that a law enforcement official will ask you to go through. You are not obligated to submit to these tests, but if you argue with the officer it may lead to further trouble down the line. Law enforcement officials may pressure you to answer questions or talk to them about your charge.
The most important thing to remember is that you do not talk to law enforcement or answer questions before a DWI attorney in Springfield, MO is present. Stay silent and wait for your Springfield DWI lawyer to show up to speak on your behalf and ensure your rights are not violated.
The Importance of Hiring a Seasoned Missouri DUI Attorney
The penalties for a repeat DWI charge can affect your life in many ways — from securing housing to applying for jobs. With a skilled Missouri DWI attorney on your side, you can fight your charges and work to reduce your penalties.
We take every case extremely seriously and want you to feel prepared and confident when facing your charges. We can answer any questions and address your concerns with honesty and can provide you with your legal options for pursuing a favorable outcome.
Our Springfield DUI lawyer at Cole & Martin Attorneys at Law, LLC may be able to help you avoid the fall-out from a drunk driving or DWI charge in Missouri. We know our way around any DUI court process and we work diligently to preserve our clients’ rights. If you have been charged with a DWI, it is crucial to retain legal counsel from someone who knows all the ins and outs of this area of the law so you have a strong chance of a favorable outcome.
At Cole & Martin Attorneys at Law, LLC, we can help you with:
Our drunk driving defense firm in Missouri may be able to stop proceedings by discrediting the evidence or helping you in a plea bargain for reduced charges. You can trust that when you need our help, our DUI attorneys in Springfield know the effective strategies to counsel you.
Arrested for DUI? Speak with a Springfield DWI lawyer about your case by calling (417) 213-5441 for a free case consultation.
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