What happens if I'm convicted of a DUI?

In the state of Missouri, what happens when a driver is convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol depends on the circumstances surrounding the arrest. Whether it is the driver's first offense and the blood-alcohol level can make a difference in what penalties are applied.

If it is your first DUI conviction, your license will be suspended for 90 days. If the DUI was while driving a commercial vehicle, the penalties are increased. In this case, a blood-alcohol level of higher than .039 percent means the driver will have two points on his driver's license and be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for a year. It may be possible for some first-time, noncommercial offenders to be awarded some driving ability under the Restricted Driving Privilege program, but this is not a guarantee.

A second DUI conviction means your license will be suspended for one year. If the second conviction happens within five years of the initial offense, however, the suspension can be for up to five years. Three DUIs, no matter the time between offenses, results in the driver's license being suspended for a period of 10 years.

Being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is something that should be taken very seriously. Losing your ability to drive can impact whether or not you are able to get to your place of employment and, therefore, your income and overall standard of living. Understanding what your charges mean and what your possible defense options are can help you make informed decisions going forward.

Source: Missouri Department of Revenue, "Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)" accessed Feb. 19, 2015

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