Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) are terms interchangeably used in Missouri to describe the criminal offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of either alcohol or a controlled substance. While the criminal offenses of driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI) are relatively common, hiring an experienced DUI lawyer is critical. DWI/DUI offenses have long-lasting consequences that can follow a person for the rest of his or her life. Multiple DWI/DUI offenses result in increased punishments including jail time, loss of driving privileges, and possibly prison sentences.
How Our DUI Lawyers Can Help
Our DUI lawyers at Brydon, Swearengen & England P.C. in Jefferson City represent clients in court proceedings involving a multitude criminal offenses including DWI/DUI. At Brydon, Swearengen & England P.C. in Jefferson City, our DUI lawyers have the experience you need to successfully litigate any criminal offense. Our attorneys also recognize that trial is not necessarily the goal of every client. Our criminal lawyers and criminal attorneys understand that criminal law issues are emotional and frustrating often causing stress and worry. Our criminal lawyers and DUI attorneys have successfully negotiated hundreds of criminal cases to the advantage of court clients without the necessity of trial.
The Missouri Legislature has recently enacted new laws that provide increased punishment for repeat offenders, including jail, ignition interlock devices, prison sentences and loss of driving privileges. The Missouri Department of Revenue often will initiate separate legal proceedings to suspend or revoke a person’s driving privileges as a result of a person’s arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI).
Possible Repercussions of Missouri DWI/DUI Law Violations
Field Sobriety Tests
Law enforcement officers administer field sobriety tests to determine whether a person has committed the criminal offense of driving a vehicle while intoxicated, also known as driving under the influence (DWI/DUI). Officers generally administer the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, the walk and turn test, and the one leg stand test in determining whether or not probable cause exists to make an arrest.
Chemical Breath Test
Law enforcement may request a chemical test of a person’s blood, breath or saliva upon probable cause to believe a person is intoxicated. The amount of alcohol in a person’s blood, as shown by chemical analysis, is admissible to prove a person’s intoxication. If a person refuses to submit to the chemical test of his or her blood, breath or urine, evidence of the refusal may also be used in a court proceeding. The Department of Revenue will revoke the driving privileges of any person who refuses to submit to a chemical test of his or her blood, breath or urine.
Ignition Interlock Device
Courts are required to order the installation of an ignition interlock device where a person has been convicted of repeat criminal offenses of driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI). An ignition interlock device is a handheld breath-testing device that is connected to the vehicle’s ignition, horn and headlights. To start the vehicle, a driver must breathe into the device without registering a blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Individuals with more than one alcohol related criminal offense must have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle before the reinstatement of driving privileges or the issuance of a limited driving privilege. The ignition interlock device must be maintained on the vehicle for six months following the reinstatement date. Failure to maintain the ignition interlock device will result in a re-suspension of driving privileges and potentially new criminal charges. If a driver is convicted for failing to have the ignition interlock device installed as required by law, the person’s driving privileges will be revoked for one year. A second offense will result in a five year revocation of driving privileges.
Loss of Driving Privileges
Driving privileges may be suspended or revoked for accumulation of points following a plea of guilty or conviction for the criminal offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI). Additionally, driving privileges may also be suspended or revoked by the Missouri Department of Revenue. Our criminal lawyers and criminal attorneys at Brydon, Swearengen & England P.C. in Jefferson City are intimately familiar with criminal laws and regulations to provide you professional and thorough legal representation. Our DUI lawyers and criminal attorneys have elected to share some of their knowledge regarding loss of driving privileges.
A person dealing with a first criminal offense for driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI) may be subject to a loss of driving privileges for ninety (90) days. During the first thirty (30) days of such a suspension, a person will have no driving privileges. In order to obtain a restricted driver license, a person must obtain proof of insurance. Upon submission of proof of insurance, a person is eligible for a restricted driving privilege. In order to obtain full reinstatement of driving privileges, a person must complete a Substance Abuse Treatment Program (“SATOP”) and pay a license reinstatement fee.
However, a person who refuses to submit to a chemical blood alcohol test is subject to loss of his or her driving privileges for one (1) year even if arrested for a first offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI) or excessive blood alcohol content. A person may be eligible to receive a limited driving privilege after serving ninety (90) days of such revocation. However, a person who has refused to submit to a chemical blood alcohol test on more than one occasion may be ineligible for a limited driving privilege.
A person dealing with a second criminal offense for driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI) may be subject to loss of driving privileges from one (1) to five (5) years depending on the length of time between the first driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI) offense and the second offense. A person who has plead guilty or been convicted of a second alcohol related criminal offense such as driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI) or excessive blood alcohol content within five (5) years of the first offense is subject to a loss of driving privileges for five (5) years. A person may be eligible to receive a limited driving privilege during this time.
A person facing a third criminal offense for driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI) may be subject to a loss of driving privileges from one (1) to ten (10) years depending on the length of time between the prior driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI) offenses and the third offense. A person subject to a ten (10) year denial of driving privileges may be eligible for a limited driving privilege after serving three (3) of the period of denial.
DUI Lawyers in Jefferson City, MO
Our DUI lawyers at Brydon, Swearengen & England P.C. in Jefferson City have a reputation for excellence, thorough preparation and innovation. Our criminal defense attorneys have diverse experience and complimentary talents to provide you attentive, efficient service. From our law office in Jefferson City, Brydon, Swearengen & England P.C. attorneys handle criminal law matters for clients throughout Mid-Missouri, in Jefferson City, Columbia, Eldon, Linn, Fulton, Osage Beach, Lake Ozark, Camdenton, Versailles, Boonville, Mexico, Sedalia, Hermann, Vienna, Montgomery City, Waynesville, as well as the counties of Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Cooper, Gasconade, Maries, Miller, Morgan, Moniteau, Montgomery, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski, and others.
Contact Scott Hamblin for more information.
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