DWI penalties in Missouri can be quite harsh and begin with the offender losing their license practically immediately, with their right to drive being restored slowly at best. Because the right to drive can be so important, a person accused to drunk driving is advised to look up one of the many Kansas City DWI lawyers to represent them in court and hopefully survive the legal proceedings that follow. It can be difficult, and getting a good lawyer can mean the difference between a slap on the wrist and an unpleasant prison sentence. Still, the question of what does in fact constitute drunk driving in the state of Missouri does bear some mentioning.
Anyone under the age of 21 with a blood alcohol level of .02 percent or over is considered legally drunk and will likely face additional underage drinking charges on top of drunk driving charges. Non-commercial drivers 21 and over have the highest allowable driving blood alcohol level of .08 percent or more. This roughly translates into two drinks, be it two beers, two glasses of wine or two shots of hard liquor, though the exact amounts will of course vary depending on what’s consumed. Commercial vehicle drivers, including school bus drivers, have a lower limit and face drunk driving charges if they’re caught driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.04 percent or greater.
As mentioned above, those who break drunk driving laws can face harsh penalties if caught. First time drunk drivers face up to six months in prison and a fine of around 500 USD, though long prison sentences are less common than fines. Their licenses to drive are also revoked for 30 days, followed by another 60 days where their privilege to drive is severely restricted, meaning they can only drive certain places, such as to their jobs or schools. After this 90 day period, driving privileges are generally restored. A second DWI within five years of the first is an even riskier proposition, as the driver faces up to a year in prison and a fine of up to 1,000 USD. Their license is then revoked for a full year.
A third DWI within five years of the first is a fairly serious matter and those accused of such will likely need to hire some Kansas City DWI lawyers in order to avoid severe penalties. At three DWI charges, the accused can be sentenced to up to four years in prison and a fine of up to 5,000 USD. Their driver’s license is automatically revoked and can not be reapplied for for five years after their prison sentence is over. A fourth DWI is even more severe, with prison sentences stretching up to seven years, though the potential size of the fine does not change. However, their license is automatically revoked and can not reapply for ten years after their prison sentence is up. A fifth offense faces between five to fifteen years in prison and will find it extremely difficult to ever drive in Missouri again.