It’s common knowledge that driving while drunk is illegal and that there are harsh penalties for those with DWI charges. But there’s more to Missouri’s DUI laws than just penalties and license suspensions.
Here are three important but little-known facts about Missouri’s DWI laws.
DUI charges for commercial drivers
Typically, a driver gets a DWI charge if their blood alcohol content (BAC) reaches 0.08%. But commercial drivers only have to hit a BAC of 0.04% or higher for authorities to charge them with a DWI – because they’re held to a much higher standard due to their driving-related profession. Convicted commercial drivers also get two penalty points assessed to their driver record and will be suspended from using a commercial motor vehicle for a year.
Intoxicated drivers can get arrested before their car can even move
According to the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD), drivers can be arrested even before the vehicle is in motion. The college noted that in Missouri, the police would not hesitate to arrest individuals sitting inside their cars just outside a bar or other establishment where they drank alcohol. In those cases, the drivers had started their cars but ultimately decided not to drive out of concern for their safety.
Broad definitions for motor vehicles
The NCDD also found that in Missouri case law, any motorized vehicle would be sufficient for a DWI charge. This means police officers can pull over drunk operators of vehicles not traditionally considered street-legal, such as ATVs, golf carts and mini-bikes.
Because DWI laws are multifaceted and complex, convicted drivers should consider hiring a lawyer to represent them in court. Whether the convicted individual is a commercial driver, someone caught in the parking lot of a bar, or happened to drive a golf cart down the road while intoxicated, having a lawyer is crucial if they want to avoid license suspensions or a misdemeanor on their criminal record.