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Are the penalties for DWI more severe when you injure someone?

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2023 | DUI/DWI |

Navigating the legal consequences of Driving While Intoxicated or Driving Under the Influence in Missouri demands a clear understanding of the potential penalties. This is particularly true when an accident leads to injuries.

The severity of penalties in such cases is an important aspect, as it can impact the legal repercussions and long-term consequences of a drunk driving offense.

Standard DWI and DUI penalties

Missouri imposes sizable penalties for individuals convicted of DWI or DUI. Standard consequences include fines, license suspension, mandatory attendance at educational programs and the possibility of imprisonment. These penalties seek to deter and punish individuals for driving under the influence.

Heightened penalties for injuries

When a DWI or DUI incident results in injuries to others, the legal consequences become more severe. Missouri recognizes the elevated risk and harm associated with impaired driving that leads to injuries. In such cases, individuals may face enhanced penalties, reflecting the gravity of the situation and the impact on victims.

In Missouri, causing injuries while driving under the influence can elevate the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony. Felony charges carry more severe penalties. They may, too, carry longer periods of imprisonment. The intent is to hold individuals accountable for the harm they cause due to impaired driving.

Financial liability and restitution

Individuals convicted of DWI or DUI with injuries may also face notable financial consequences. This can include restitution to the injured parties to cover medical expenses. It can also include property damage and other related costs. The financial burden serves as a reminder of the repercussions of impaired driving on both the individual and the victims involved.

License revocation and Ignition Interlock Devices

In addition to the criminal penalties, individuals convicted of DWI or DUI with injuries may face longer periods of license revocation. They may also have to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles, further restricting their ability to drive freely. These measures underscore the commitment to public safety and the prevention of repeat offenses.

Per the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, impaired driving contributes to more than a fifth of the state’s traffic deaths. The penalties for DWI or DUI in Missouri become more severe when injuries or fatalities occur, spotlighting a need for residents and visitors to make smart decisions when it comes to driving.