Penalties for Drunk Driving Charges Include License Restrictions

Do you know the consequences for a drunk driving conviction in Missouri? The penalties for a drunk driving offense change depending on the nature of the allegations. For example, a first-time offender would likely face a less-severe penalty than a defendant with a long history of intoxicated driving. Defendants may be subject to both criminal penalties — including fines and jail time — along with administrative penalties such as suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.

Many Missouri residents may not be aware that they can have their driver’s license revoked through an administrative process even if their drunk driving charge was reduced or disposed of in court. First-time DWI convicts will have their driver’s licenses suspended for 90 days. However, these individuals may be eligible for restricted driving privileges, which lessen the severity of the suspension.

Restricted driving privileges may be granted for those who have had their license suspended but do not have any prior alcohol violations. A total suspension for 30 days would be followed by a 60-day period of RDP. Some defendants may be able to skip the suspension altogether, provided that they agree to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle in connection with their DWI offense.

Defendants who are convicted of multiple violations will face more serious penalties. A second alcohol-related conviction will prompt a license revocation of one year. Two violations within a five-year period will lead to a five-year license denial. Penalties increase to a 10-year license denial for those convicted three or more times of an alcohol-related traffic offense.

As you can see, license revocation penalties are a serious consequence that can result even after a DWI first offense. Criminal defendants should understand the impact of a DWI conviction on their personal and professional lives. A criminal defense attorney can help defendants address the potential consequences of a DWI conviction, providing assistance to optimize the outcome of the related criminal proceedings.

Source: Missouri Department of Revenue, “Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)” Sep. 08, 2014

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