Driving while under the influence is a serious crime. It falls under the criminal code of the state. However, it is also a traffic violation.
Because of this dual status, if you get a DUI, you will face two different punishments. The Missouri Department of Revenue explains that you will have to handle the criminal charges under criminal law and administrative consequences that come under administrative law.
Administrative issues come from the fact you committed the crime while driving. These consequences will impact your ability to drive in the future. They include losing your license and getting points on your driving record. Do note that what happens with your criminal trial usually does not impact the administrative punishments. For example, if you refuse a breath test, you will lose your license even if the court later throws out your DUI charges.
Your criminal case comes with punishments that include jail time and fines. The court can also add to any administrative driver’s license suspensions. Additionally, the court could order a device on your vehicle that requires you to take a breath test for alcohol every time you drive. The judge may also make you take an alcohol treatment course or require you to do community service.
In both situations, the impacts can be long-lasting. A DUI conviction will stay on both your criminal and driving records. You may have to pay more for insurance, and you may be unable to legally drive for a year or more. Knowing the potential punishments can help you to better defend yourself in court and with administrators at the motor vehicle department.