Drunk Driving Laws

Our attorneys understand the real physical and emotional hardships caused by drunk drivers. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, you want a lawyer who understands your needs. When you hire a Missouri Injury Attorney, our experience goes to work as we fight for the money you deserve. Call or click today for one of our free legal evaluations.

NHTSA Guidelines

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concludes that any crash wherein the driver was “alcohol impaired” or over the legal limit in terms of blood alcohol level, is a drunk driving crash.

Missouri DWI Laws

In Missouri ‘driving while intoxicated’ and ‘driving under the influence’ are not considered to be separate violations. Both acts are referred to as a DWI, which carries points and suspensions relevant to a Blood Alcohol Content violation.

A Missouri driver can be examined if an officer feels that evidence suggests the driver is intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. The driver will then be subject to a blood test, urine test, or Breathalyzer test to determine their blood alcohol content. In the event that the driver refuses the testing, other penalties and suspensions will be incurred.

In Missouri, a DWI is awarded in adults with:

  • A blood alcohol content of .08 and above

Similarly, Missouri law states that a minor (20 years of age and younger) will receive a DWI with:

  • A blood alcohol content of .02 and above

A first offense DWI is a misdemeanor and:

  • 8 points are added to the driver’s Missouri Driving Record
  • Could result in up to 6 months of jail time
  • Will result in fines of up to $500
  • A license suspension for 30 days with a 60 day restricted driving period
  • A license suspension for 90 days (minor)

A second offense DWI is a misdemeanor and:

  • 12 points are added to the driver’s Missouri Driving Record
  • Could result in up to 1 year of jail time (with a 5 day minimum served unless 30 days community service is performed)
  • Will result in fines of up to $1,000
  • The driver’s license will be revoked for 1 full year, and if the offense occurs within 5 years of the driver’s previous DWI, they will receive a 5-year license denial
  • Requirement to take and pass both portions of the Missouri Driving Test
  • Requirement to have an ignition interlock device for up to 1 month

A third offense DWI is a felony and:

  • 12 points are added to the driver’s Missouri Driving Record
  • Could result in up to 4 years jail time ( with a 10 day minimum served unless 60 days community service is completed)
  • Will result in fines of up to $5,000
  • Will result in a 10-year license denial
  • Requirement to take and pass both portions of the Missouri Driving Test

In addition, all DWI offenders in Missouri are required to complete a SATOP (Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program) course before their driver’s license is reinstated.

Missouri DWI Accident Statistics (2009-2010 latest available data)

  • According to Drinkinganddriving.org, Missouri has a C ranking, meaning that the average annual DUI arrests per 10,000 people were 39-68
  • Drunk driving claimed the life of 259 individuals in 2010
  • Drunk driving claimed the life of 20 minors (20 and younger) in 2010
  • Missouri had 29, 655 arrests for drunk driving in 2010
  • 79.3 % of drivers with a BAC of .15+ were involved in fatal car crashes in 2010

National DWI/ DUI Accident Statistics (2009-2010 latest available data)

  • In America, on average, around 12,000 people die annually in DUI-related crashes
  • Around 900,000 are arrested annually for DUI/DWI offenses and around 1/3 of those individuals are repeat offenders
  • Three in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point in their lives
  • On New Year’s Day (2009) 468 people were killed in car accidents.  Drunk driving contributed to 40% of these fatalities.
  • More than 181 children died because of drunk drivers (2009).

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