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The consequences of a DWI conviction are serious and can have a long lasting impact. The consequences of a DWI conviction depend on a numerous factors, including whether you have any prior DWI arrests and/or convictions, your blood-alcohol content (BAC), whether you are charged under municipal and/or county ordinances or state statutes, among many other factors. The consequences of a DWI conviction can include:
- Criminal Convictions:
- 1st DWI. Can result in Class B Misdemeanor;
- 2nd DWI. Can result in Class A Misdemeanor - Prior Offender;
- Additional DWI. Can result in Class D Felony - Persistent Offender.
A DWI conviction becomes part of your publicly available criminal record and can be discovered by prospective schools, employers, professional licensing boards, and the military.
- Jail Time:
- 1st DWI. Can result in up to 6 months jail time;
- 2nd DWI. Can result in up to 1 year jail time;
- Additional DWI. Can result in up to 4 years jail time.
- Points on Your Driver License:
- 1st DWI. 8 points added to your driver record;
- 2nd DWI. 12 points added to your driver record;
- Additional DWI. 12 points added to your driver record.
Any felony conviction resulting from the use of a motor vehicle (manslaughter, vehicular assault) will result in the imposition of 12 penalty points.
- Driver License Suspension:
- 1st DWI: The 8 points on your drivers license following a first DWI conviction will trigger a 30 day suspension, during which you are not allowed to drive at all, followed by a 60 day suspension period when you may drive only in connection with your occupation or employment. This suspension may be in addition to the 90 day suspension imposed by the DOR if you do not file an appeal of your administrative suspension, or if your administrative appeal is denied.
- 2nd DWI: The 12 points on your drivers license following a second DWI conviction will trigger a 1 year suspension. You are eligible to request limited driving privileges (primarily for driving to work, school, etc.) after 30 days. However, any person who receives two DWI convictions in a five-year period will have their license revoked and is not eligible for reinstatement for a period of five years. The driver subject to a 5 year revocation may be eligible for hardship driving privileges after two years.
- Subsequent DWI: Any person who receives three or more convictions for any combination of DWI or BAC (operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08% or more) within a life time will have his or her license revoked and is not eligible for the return of the license for a minimum of 10 years. The driver may be eligible for hardship driving privileges after three years.
In Missouri, "Abuse & Lose" is a special set of laws that apply to minors. It is important to hire an experienced Missouri traffic attorney if you are under 21 years of age because a court can order suspension of driving license privileges for 90 days for a 1st offense and 1 year for a 2nd offense of the following types of offenses:
- Any alcohol related traffic offense;
- any offense involving the possession or use of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle;
- any offense involving the possession or use of drugs;
- any offense involving the alteration, modification or misrepresentation of a driver license;
- a second offense involving the possession or use of alcohol by someone under 18 years of age.
- Court Fines:
- 1st DWI. Up to $500 fine;
- 2nd DWI. Up to $1,000 fine;
- Additional DWI. Up to $5,000 fine.
- Increased Insurance Premiums:
A DWI conviction on your driver license record will increase your insurance premiums for several years. The amount of the increase will depend on your insurer, the type and amount of coverage you have, your driving record, whether you have any prior DWIs, among other factors.
In order to reinstate your license after an administrative DWI suspension or revocation, or a point suspension or revocation resulting from a alcohol-related traffic conviction, you must maintain proof of insurance with the Department of Revenue (DOR) for a period of two years from the effective date of the suspension. In Missouri, SR-22 Insurance is a policy form that proves that your motor vehicle has liability insurance. This form is filed with DOR. You may obtain an SR-22 from most insurance agents.
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