As a Missouri resident, you have likely heard about the state government's "zero tolerance" policy for drinking and driving. There state's DWI laws cover several different charges, and there may be severe penalties if you drive while intoxicated or refuse to take a test for blood alcohol concentration. If you are under 21 years old, however, there are additional aspects of the zero tolerance policy that may affect you.
Like most people in Missouri, you have probably heard people talk about the field sobriety tests that may be used when a driver is suspected of being impaired. However, you may not fully understand what these tests are or how inaccurate they may really be. This can be important to anyone who has been charged with driving while intoxicated as they need to learn their defense options.
When a judge or jury convicts you of drinking and driving in Missouri, you can expect that your life will become exponentially more difficult in numerous ways. While a DUI can make it hard to find a job, hold down a job and otherwise keep up with your responsibilities, it can also prove tremendously expensive once you factor in fines, possible ignition interlock requirements and insurance rate hikes, among related expenses.
If you have been convicted of a DUI in Missouri or in many other states in the nation, you may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car. These devices allow you to drive on a restricted driver’s license, yet they monitor whether you have any alcohol in your system when you attempt to start your vehicle. Ignition interlock devices are breath test analyzers that are hooked up to your vehicles ignition system. Some models have cameras that attach to the dashboard of the car. In order to start the car, you must blow into a tube that is connected to the device. The device then determines your blood alcohol content level and will only start if it is below a preset limit. If you do have a BAC level that is above the limit, the vehicle will lock you out and you will be unable to drive.
While it is no secret that a Missouri drunk driving conviction is a serious offense, many state residents do not fully understand the true, comprehensive costs associated with this type of crime. At Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, we have a firm understanding of just how much a driving under the influence conviction can cost you in the long run, and we have helped many clients facing similar circumstances defend themselves against such charges.
If you are a Missouri resident who has lost his or her license because of driving under the influence conviction or another reason, you must take certain steps in order to get your driving privileges back and resume life as you know it. Not having a license can present clear obstacles with regard to finding and maintaining employment, so many offenders who lose their licenses wish to get them back as soon as possible.
If you face vehicular manslaughter charges in Missouri, this is a very serious charge for which you could serve a substantial prison sentence if convicted. As FindLaw explains, vehicular manslaughter is one of several Missouri involuntary manslaughter crimes, all of which are first-degree felonies.
In many places in Missouri, you have to be able to drive in order to do anything. Taking business trips, getting to work or even running a simple errand all require some time on the road. Public transportation is often inadequate, and chartered services, such as taxis or online ridesharing services, are non-existent, inconvenient or prohibitively expensive as a solution to your daily transportation necessities.
If you are currently facing a drunk driving charge in Missouri, you may have concerns about the penalties you potentially face and how a possible conviction will impact your life. Chances are, you received your charge after blowing into a device called a Breathalyzer, and while, if calibrated and used correctly, Breathalyzers are often accurate, there are a number of factors that can throw off test results. At Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, we are well-versed in the factors that can affect Breathalyzer reliability, and we have helped many Missourians facing drunk driving charges defend themselves.