Missouri DWI/DUI Penalties

Our DWI Attorneys in Kansas City, MO Provide DWI Defense in Kansas City, Missouri and Throughout the Region

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be a serious criminal offense or a serious ordinance violation. Depending on the circumstances, you could be facing an ordinance violation, a misdemeanor, or a felony if convicted. You could also face time behind bars, fines, mandatory substance abuse class attendance and the revocation of a professional license. An officer may arrest you if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or greater or you are otherwise impaired. If you are facing impaired driving charges in Missouri, then you should speak with a DWI attorney as soon as possible. Additionally, an attorney may be able to help you seek lesser charges or may be able to help have the charges dismissed altogether.

Our DWI attorneys in Kansas City, MO have extensive experience helping people facing DWI charges in state criminal courts and local municipal courts. You can schedule a free consultation with us to determine the best legal options moving forward.

What Are DWI Penalties in Missouri?

Alcohol and drugs inhibit your ability to operate a motor vehicle. You suffer reduced reaction time and judgement. The DWI penalties in Missouri may include:

  • Up to six months or up to one year in jail for a first offense and up to one to four years for second and third offenses respectively.
  • Some charges carry a mandatory minimum jail sentence.
  • Fines of $1,000 to $10,000 depending on prior convictions.
  • Driver’s license suspension.
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in some cases.
  • The suspension of a professional license, such as a medical license.

The consequences of a DWI depend on the circumstances surrounding your arrest. Aggravating factors, such as the presence of a minor in the vehicle, can lead to more serious consequences.

You will also face steeper penalties if this is not your first DWI. Repeat DWIs come with serious consequences, including felony charges. There are also additional consequences you could face after a conviction, such as community service and higher car insurance rates.

What Is a Felony DWI in Missouri?

A DWI in Missouri can be either an ordinance violation, a misdemeanor, or a felony. However, a DWI can be a felony under the following circumstances:

  • Your DWI resulted in injuries or deaths.
  • You have a prior felony DWI.
  • You have two prior DWI convictions.

Can You Refuse a Field Sobriety Test?

It depends. There are certain field sobriety tests you do not have to take. You do not have to take standardized field sobriety tests. The standardized field sobriety test consists of:

  • The walk-and-turn test. This is where you walk heel-to-toe for nine steps in a straight line and then reverse course in the opposite direction.
  • One leg stand test. This is where you stand on one leg and count aloud.
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus test. With this test, you gaze at an object side to side. The officer is trying to determine if your eyes have trouble following the object.

You can fail a standardized field sobriety test even while sober. Although the officer may still arrest you, you do not risk losing your license for refusing to take the standardized field sobriety tests.

You may be asked to submit to a blood or breath test after the officer reads the implied consent warning. This is different from a Miranda warning. Whether to submit to a breath or other type of test requires careful analysis and there is not one correct answer. It is important to consider several things including, but not limited to: where you are located, whether you have had a prior DWI, whether there was an accident, what state your driver license is from.  These are just a few of the considerations that our lawyers consider when contemplating whether a decision to submit to a breath or other test is the right choice.

What Is Implied Consent?

In Missouri, driving is a privilege, not a right. When you receive your driver’s license, you automatically consent to chemical testing if an officer suspects drug or alcohol impairment. You may lose your driver’s license if you refuse to submit to chemical testing under the right circumstances.

Additional Missouri DUI/DWI Questions

Below, our DWI attorneys in Kansas City, MO answer more of your questions. Contact us for a free consultation at (816) 320-6527 if you have additional questions. You can also schedule a free consultation by using the contact form on our site.

What Is SATOP?

SATOP is the Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program. If you receive a driver’s license suspension after a DWI, you will have to complete SATOP before the state allows you to drive again (called “reinstated”).

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock device is a breath-testing device that you install in your car. It connects to the ignition, horn and headlights. In order to drive, you must not have been drinking. These devices can be expensive and intrusive, particularly if they are equipped with G.PS. and/or a camera.

What Should I Do If I am Arrested for a Missouri DWI?

  • Call us immediately so we can protect your rights.
  • Bring your forms and copies of any citations you received from the police officer when you meet with us.
  • If you have police reports, bring them to our meeting.
Scroll to Top