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A guide to drunk driving penalties in Missouri

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2023 | DUI/DWI |

Driving under the influence is a serious offense that can have severe consequences in Missouri. The state has strict laws and penalties in place to deter individuals from driving while intoxicated.

If you face a DUI conviction, you must understand these penalties to make informed decisions and avoid legal troubles.

First offense

If you operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher, you may face fines ranging up to several hundred dollars. License suspensions will also occur, as first DUI convictions cause loss of license for 90 days.

Although it is rare for first-time offenders to serve jail time, it is possible for those with high BAC levels or those involved in accidents. You may also receive probation, which often includes mandatory alcohol education programs.

Second offense

When it comes to a second DUI in Missouri, penalties can include a jail term ranging from a few days to a year, depending on the circumstances. You may also experience driver’s license revocation for one year, with the possibility of a restricted license after 45 days if you install an ignition interlock device.

As for fines, you will face steeper fines and court costs compared to your first offense. Probation terms may also be more stringent and could include mandatory alcohol treatment programs.

Third and subsequent offenses

For third and subsequent DUI offenses, the penalties become even more severe. A prison sentence ranging from one to five years is possible, as is driver’s license revocation for ten years. You should also expect substantial fines, strict probation terms, mandatory substance abuse treatment and forfeiture of your vehicle.

Aggravating factors

Certain circumstances can aggravate DUI penalties, such as causing an accident resulting in injury or death, having a minor in the vehicle or having an extremely high BAC. In these cases, you can anticipate longer jail sentences, more substantial fines and lengthier license revocations.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, 213 drunk driving arrests took place in 2020. While criminal charges can be intimidating, knowing what to expect can prepare you for penalties and help you get your life back on track.