St. Joseph DUI Lawyers

Missouri DWI Defense: Understanding DUI Laws and Penalties

It is a crime in Missouri to drive under the influence (DUI), also referred to as driving while intoxicated (DWI). The law in Missouri states that:

  • Motorists are prohibited from operating or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more
  • The illegal BAC threshold is lowered to .04% or more for commercial drivers 
  • It is illegal to possess a BAC of .02% or more for drivers under the age of 21
  • It is also illegal to operate a vehicle while in an intoxicated condition, whether that be under the influence of any combination of alcohol or drugs (DWI)

Be aware that it is possible to be charged with a DWI even if you are not actually driving the vehicle. Merely being in a position to restrain, regulate, or otherwise operate a vehicle’s movements (“being in actual physical control” of a vehicle) is sufficient for a DWI charge.

Understanding DWI Conviction Consequences in Northwest Missouri

The penalties for DUI depend on how many prior offenses the defendant has. The sentencing ranges include the following:

  • 1st offense – up to 6 months in jail; up to $1,000 in fines; 30 days of license suspension; use of ignition interlock device (IID) if defendant obtains a restricted license
  • 2nd offense – up to 1 year in jail; up to $2,000 in fines; 1 year of license revocation (5 years if the prior offense occurred within 5 years); at least 6 months of IID use
  • 3rd offense – up to 4 years in jail; up to $10,000 in fines; 10 years of license revocation; at least 6 months of IID use

Note that Missouri also implements “implied consent” laws that require all drivers lawfully arrested for a DUI to submit to a blood, breath, urine, or saliva test. Those who refuse testing will face 1 year of license revocation, as well as a 6-month IID use requirement. This penalty is in addition to the penalties that may be issued for the DUI conviction.

If you have been accused of driving under the influence in Missouri, contact Kranitz, Sadoun & Carpenter for legal help immediately. The sooner we get started on your defense, the stronger we can make your case. We will combine our firm’s 100 years of professional knowledge and our strategic attorneys’ drive for innovation to craft a unique and compelling defense. Jail time, fines, and license suspension may be daunting, but remember that a charge is not a conviction; don’t give in to your charge without putting up a tough battle in your defense first.

Get Expert DWI Defense in Buchanan, Nodaway, and Platt Counties

Schedule an initial consultation with Kranitz, Sadoun & Carpenter to discuss your DUI defense options. We advocate for drivers throughout Northwest Missouri and the surrounding counties of Buchanan, Nodaway, and Platt.

What are the DWI and DUI Laws in Missouri?

It is a crime in Missouri to drive under the influence (DUI), also referred to as driving while intoxicated (DWI). The law in Missouri states that:

  • Motorists are prohibited from operating or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more
  • The illegal BAC threshold is lowered to .04% or more for commercial drivers 
  • It is illegal to possess a BAC of .02% or more for drivers under the age of 21
  • It is also illegal to operate a vehicle while in an intoxicated condition, whether that be under the influence of any combination of alcohol or drugs (DWI)

Be aware that it is possible to be charged with a DWI even if you are not actually driving the vehicle. Merely being in a position to restrain, regulate, or otherwise operate a vehicle’s movements (“being in actual physical control” of a vehicle) is sufficient for a DWI charge.

Penalties Upon Conviction

The penalties for DUI depend on how many prior offenses the defendant has. The sentencing ranges include the following:

  • 1st offense – up to 6 months in jail; up to $1,000 in fines; 30 days of license suspension; use of ignition interlock device (IID) if defendant obtains a restricted license
  • 2nd offense – up to 1 year in jail; up to $2,000 in fines; 1 year of license revocation (5 years if the prior offense occurred within 5 years); at least 6 months of IID use
  • 3rd offense – up to 4 years in jail; up to $10,000 in fines; 10 years of license revocation; at least 6 months of IID use

Note that Missouri also implements “implied consent” laws that require all drivers lawfully arrested for a DUI to submit to a blood, breath, urine, or saliva test. Those who refuse testing will face 1 year of license revocation, as well as a 6-month IID use requirement. This penalty is in addition to the penalties that may be issued for the DUI conviction.

If you have been accused of driving under the influence in Missouri, contact Kranitz, Sadoun & Carpenter for legal help immediately. The sooner we get started on your defense, the stronger we can make your case. We will combine our firm’s 100 years of professional knowledge and our strategic attorneys’ drive for innovation to craft a unique and compelling defense. Jail time, fines, and license suspension may be daunting, but remember that a charge is not a conviction; don’t give in to your charge without putting up a tough battle in your defense first.

Schedule an initial consultation with Kranitz, Sadoun & Carpenter to discuss your DUI defense options. We advocate for drivers throughout Northwest Missouri and the surrounding counties of Buchanan, Nodaway, and Platt.

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Our firm was established in 1919 by founder Louis Kranitz with the ambition of serving the St. Joseph community and beyond. For over 100 years, this Kranitz name remains the cornerstone of impeccable legal advocacy for our clients.
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