Missouri DWI Laws if You are Under 21


If you are under 21 and have been pulled over for a DWI, your case will be handled differently than if you were over the legal drinking age. First, the legal limit for someone under the age of 21 is not .08, instead it is .02. The lowered legal limit of 0.02 is referred to as zero tolerance, and it reflects the law that it is not legal for people under 21 to drink at all.


Driver’s License Suspensions

Similar to people over 21, if you are under 21 and arrested for a DWI you will be facing a driver’s license suspension. The suspension is termed a Zero Tolerance Suspension if you took the breath test and the result was over a .02. A Zero Tolerance Suspension is a 90 day suspension. If you refused the breath test, then you are facing a one year suspension of your driving privileges, the same as if you were over 21 and refused the breath test. Whether you took the breath test or refused, it is important to hire a DWI lawyer to fight the pending suspension.

Even though the police officer gave you only a 15 day temporary driving permit, an experienced DWI lawyer should be able to delay most driver’s license suspensions until after a full hearing to determine if your license should be suspended at all. There are many technical issues in drunk driving cases that a good attorney can use to fight the case and any driver’s license suspension. It is important to fight any possible suspension of your driver’s license.


Possession by Consumption

A common issue that arises in the St. Louis area when someone under 21 has been arrested for DWI is that the police officer will also issue that person a citation for Minor in Possession of Alcohol. Many times this can be confusing because there was no alcohol in the vehicle. The law in Missouri allows for the prosecution of a Minor in Possession of Alcohol through a theory known as “Possession by Consumption.” Boiled down it means if you are under 21 and you are drunk then you have alcohol in your system and you can be found guilty of a Minor in Possession of Alcohol. Although not all police officers issue this additional citation after a DWI arrest, it has been a growing trend around the St. Louis area recently.


Protect Your Rights

If you are under 21 and have been arrested for a DWI, it is important to consult with an experienced DWI attorney. There are many legal issues that could have affect your case and your driving privileges. Contact The Law Office of Jason A. Korner at 314-227-1949 to schedule a free consultation about your DWI arrest.


July 15, 2015

Car Accidents – “100 Deadliest Days” for Teens – by Criminal Defense Lawyer – Jason Korner

Car accidents remain the number one cause of death for teenagers, and this is never truer than during the summer months. The coveted freedom teenagers enjoy during the summer months also leads to poor decision-making that can result in drunken teens behind the wheel. Although teens are not legally able to buy alcohol, the freedom of summer generally provides opportunities for teens to drink. Teenage drunk driving is the main reason why summer is referred to as the “100 Deadliest Days” for teens.   Summer is a time of experimentation for many teenagers, and that experimenting often includes alcohol and […]
September 3, 2014

Do You Know the Laws for Underage Drinking in Missouri?

On behalf of The Law Office of Jason A. Korner posted in Underage Drinking on Friday, September 5, 2014. Do you know your state’s laws regarding underage drinking? In Missouri, underage consumers of alcohol may face serious punishment simply because they possess a beverage. Even more serious consequences may arise for underage motorists facing a drunk driving charge. Were you aware that underage drinking and driving is governed by different rules than those pertaining to older drivers? In fact, teenagers’ blood alcohol content must be below 0.02 percent in order to avoid a drunk driving allegation. The BAC that triggers […]
July 25, 2014

Underage Drinking Still a Problem Despite Changes in Law

On behalf of The Law Office of Jason A. Korner posted in Underage Drinking on Friday, July 25, 2014. Think back to the mid-1980s, when the National Minimum Drinking Age Act essentially required that all states raise the minimum age for drinking to 21. Should we still be supporting that piece of legislation? Experts in Missouri and other states say, “maybe not.” Even though the law was designed to protect teens from fatal vehicle accidents — and drunk driving charges — it seems to have had an unintended effect. That is, more underage drinking is occurring than ever before, despite […]
June 13, 2014

Lower Conviction Rates Could Result from Looser Alcohol Rules

On behalf of The Law Office of Jason A. Korner posted in Underage Drinking on Friday, June 13, 2014. Two years of debates and several votes have led officials in one Missouri town to lower the age limit for entering a bar. The city council in Maryville has decided to allow 19- and 20-year-old residents into the city’s drinking establishments, although a panel of restrictions would be in place. Bar owners will be allowed to determine whether the younger individuals enter their facilities. The council had enacted an ordinance in January to raise the admission age to 21; that rule […]
May 23, 2014

College Kids Risk Conviction as Stoned Driving Rates Increase

On behalf of The Law Office of Jason A. Korner posted in Underage Drinking on Friday, May 23, 2014. College students in Missouri and other states may be more likely to get behind the wheel while high instead of while drunk. In fact, a new study shows that college freshmen are significantly more likely to both ride with a stoned driver and drive themselves while high. This contradicts statistics that show that more young adults are using alcohol than pot. About 31 percent of those who have smoked marijuana are risking a DWI conviction because they have gotten behind the […]
May 7, 2014

Underage Drinking Targeted in Missouri Communities

On behalf of The Law Office of Jason A. Korner posted in Underage Drinking on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Underage drinking is becoming an increasingly important issue throughout Missouri, especially in the wake of a new study that shows surprising results. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey reveals that about two in five Missouri teens have consumed alcohol within the past 30 days. This behavior is dangerous because it could lead to an underage drunk driving charge, which can have serious consequences even for a first offense. The study showed that about 8 percent of the youngsters had driven after drinking, […]
March 27, 2014

Drunk Driving Charge Possibility Does Not Deter Teen Behaviors

On behalf of The Law Office of Jason A. Korner posted in Underage Drinking on Thursday, March 27, 2014. As high school prom season beckons, growing concern about underage drunk driving is rising within Missouri communities. A new study has brought additional alarming statistics, showing that although today’s teenagers are more educated than ever about the dangers of drunk or distracted driving, they have a hard time saying “no” to those behaviors. Experts say that many of these teens may be close to receiving drunk driving charges because they do not practice what they have preach. A new survey issued […]
February 21, 2014

Should Stoned Driving Warrant a DWI Charge?

On behalf of The Law Office of Jason A. Korner posted in DWI / Drunk Driving Charges on Friday, February 21, 2014. Missouri residents who have been stopped for drunk driving may be familiar with the standard panel of field sobriety tests. An officer will likely require drivers to follow a pen with their eyes, walk in a straight line and stand on one leg for 30 seconds. Drivers who complete those tests without incident are likely not intoxicated. So far, though, tests do not exist to accurately predict whether a stoned driver should face a DWI charge. With a […]
February 7, 2014

Maryville, Missouri, Changes Law to Prevent Underage Drinking

On behalf of The Law Office of Jason A. Korner posted in Underage Drinking on Friday, February 7, 2014. A Missouri town has raised the entry age to local bars from 19 to 21. The change in Maryville came after a large debate in the town’s City Hall, during which students and residents opposed the change for a variety of reasons. The new ordinance, passed on Jan. 27, will officially raise the entry age to 21 after July 1; after that point, underage students will have to find other entertainment opportunities. The council had previously issued a ruling about the […]
December 4, 2013

Young Missourians More Likely to Drink Underage During Holiday

On behalf of The Law Office of Jason A. Korner posted in Underage Drinking on Wednesday, December 4, 2013. Thanksgiving is a time for family gatherings, over-indulgence in delicious food and last-minute grocery shopping. Would you believe that this innocuous holiday is also the most common time for underage drinking to occur? That’s right: The night before Thanksgiving is widely known as the biggest night for underage drinking. Many of those drinkers may be prone to driving even after illegally consuming booze. Young people who consume alcohol and get behind the wheel during the holidays could face big penalties, even […]
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