Don’t delay! Because of filing deadlines, quick response time is essential to protect your driving privilege. When you are stopped/arrested upon probable cause that you were driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol level greater than the legal limit (.08%) two separate sections of Missouri law apply:
(1) Criminal Alcohol Law
The criminal case addresses the potential consequences of things such as fines, court costs, probation, community service, driving school or alcohol classes, etc. A court appearance is almost always required. The criminal case may also affect a person’s driving record and/or privilege to drive. If an individual is convicted of an alcohol offense, the court sends a copy of the conviction to the Missouri Department of Revenue and then points are added to the driving record; the number of the points depends upon the nature of the charge (i.e., first time offense vs. multiple offenses). In Missouri, the first DWI offense is a class B misdemeanor while a second offense is a class A misdemeanor. Three or more offense could be prosecuted as a felony. All impaired driving cases are serious, but felony cases carry the most severe penalties: jail/prison, higher fines, or a combination of jail/prison and fines. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. Don’t forfeit your rights! Contact one of our offices as soon as possible. We can help!
(2) Administrative Alcohol Law
This part of your case concerns the potential suspension or revocation of your driving privilege if you’re convicted of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher (different rules apply to minors). Even within the administrative case, there are two distinctions: a) taking the breath test; and b) refusing the test. The potential consequence from the administrative case–whether the breath test was taken or not is that the Department of Revenue may suspend or revoke your driving privilege. A popular subject people discuss in the context of DWI arrests is whether a person should take the breath test or refuse it. It depends! We will consult with you about all aspects of your DWI case. Call one of our offices as soon as possible. Time is of the essence. We can help!