Missouri DUI Penalties In 2016 By First, Second, Third Offence
Missouri DUI Penalties In 2016 By First, Second, Third Offence – Before one delves into the laws and penalties that govern DUI or DWI in the state of Missouri the first thing one need to understand is exactly what a DUI is.
According to official data, between the years 2005-2014 an approximate number of 2,531 deaths and 46,115 personal injuries occurred as a result of DUI. This clearly indicates the seriousness of driving while under the influence of alcohol. It is easy to look at the numbers and think that they are just statistics. But when one is involved in a road crush they are either victims or perpetrators. This articles is meant to enable you avoid being a potential law breaker.
DUI explained further
Generally DUI or DWI is the state of driving under the influence of alcohol or while intoxicated by a drug. For you to be considered DUI in the state of Missouri, you must have qualified for the following three options.
- You are under the age of 21 years and have a BAC of .02% or over.
- You are 21 years or over and have a BAC of .08% and over.
- You are a commercial driver for instance a commercial truck driver and have a BAC of .04% or above.
NOTE: BAC stands for blood alcohol concentration and is determined by many factors. Mostly your body mass and gender may greatly affect the BAC in your body. It cannot be generally measured by the number of drinks you take as the concentration of alcohol in them differs. By confirming your weight, and amount of alcohol % in a drink you can successfully keep within the given limits. Caution is advised when drinking with an intention to drive. States have put into place measures to warn you of this requirement and will probably have huge advertisements to this effect.
If you meet that criteria and are found driving, then automatically you are DUI. The law is quite clear on how to treat you when you are found driving under the influence or while intoxicated. When you get pulled over and are not exhibiting signs of drunkenness, the traffic officer is at liberty to take you through a blood test, urine test or breathalyzer test to ascertain whether or not you are DUI. However, they can only take a maximum of two tests. The type of test the officer chooses can only be determined by them. The reasons you are stopped, may be because you have a history of DUI and the registration of your vehicle was taken down during an earlier incident, or you are driving in a way that may raise questions and suspicion from the traffic officer.
Should you be stopped and asked to take a chemical or breathalyzer test, you can accept to take the test or decline. This is because Missouri laws have implied laws of consent. Under this law, one is allowed to either accept or decline a test. Should you decline to take the test, you are allowed to consult with a lawyer within twenty minutes. At the lapse of this period however, you will have to face the consequences of not taking the test. The following is a short summary of the consequences of such refusal.
For a first time offender; your license will be suspended for a year
For a second time offender; your license will be suspended for a year and you will be required to install an IID.
For a third time offender; your license will be suspended and once more your vehicle must be installed with an IID.
IID refers to ignition interlock device. This is a gadget that works as a breathalyzer, and the driver is required to breathe into it when they ignite their vehicle. If the individuals BAC is above the limits provided within the state then the vehicle does not ignite, and will not do so until the levels go down to permitted levels.
Penalties of DUI
In Missouri, the look back period is 5 years. Which in essence means that if your last DUI offense was more than 5 years prior to the next offense, the prior offense has been wiped off the records and you therefore will be treated as if you are a first time offender. However, the opposite holds true too. Meaning, if your last DUI was within the past 5 years, then the current offense is given the subsequent penalties and fines that are prescribed within the traffic laws of the state of Missouri. Take note that you can also get a license suspension of up to five years for a repeat offense.
DUI cases are handled by two different arms of law in the state of Missouri: The administrative laws which deal with the BAC levels and are in charge of issuing automatic suspensions of licenses belonging to convicted drivers. This essentially means that the administrative law will deal with what is in your system to help enforce the criminal laws. Criminal laws, which deal with imposing tickets and fines on people who have been convicted of DUI. By assessing the number of points someone has accumulated over a period of time, the law will impose the deserved penalties and fines befitting the offense.
Penalties that are related to DUI are as follows:
First time DUI
For a first time offender in the state of Missouri, you are contending with:
- A jail period of up to 6 months in prison.
- A five of not more than $500.
- 30 days administrative suspension on your driving license and a possible 60 days restricted suspension.
- You may also be required to install an IID in your car.
Apart from that there is the strong possibility of a SR-22 requirement especially if you are eager to lift your license suspension in time.
Second time DUI
You need to understand that the more DUI you collect, the more dangerous you seem and therefore, the steeper the penalties will get for you. This will therefore earn you;
- Jail time of not more than 1 year.
- Penalties not exceeding $1,000.
- A license suspension of up to one year.
- A possibility of being required to install an IID in your car.
The court may also at its discretion require a SR-22 at this point and may do so. Therefore be prepared to meet the costs involved with acquiring one.
Third time DUI
Well, if you are on a third DUI, clearly you need to be punished in the eyes of the law to say the least. And the penalties involved with a third DUI are really steep to say the least. You may;
- Face a jail term of up to 4 years.
- Have to pay a fine of up to $5,000.
- Be handed a license suspension of up to 10 years.
- You must install an IID.
The above penalties relate to DUI without much incident. However, consider the many other situations that arise out of DUI. Consider the following
DUI vehicular manslaughter
You need to understand that there are two offenses involved here. There is Vehicular Manslaughter and DUI. While these may not be treated as two different cases, clearly one state may have led to the other. You may be charged for criminal liability and/ civil liability. When charged with criminal liability you may face first degree manslaughter charges , which is; criminally or recklessly causing the death of another while driving a car or boat while intoxicated. This charge may be treated as a class B or C felony. The penalties are as follows;
- Class B; you will be jailed for between 5-15 years.
- Class C; for a period not more than 7 years.
However, if you have done this before and killed more than two people in the vehicle or one person who was not a passenger, or while under an intoxication of .18% and above, then it becomes a Class A felony.
- Class a felony; you will be jailed for a period of between 10 – 30 years and must serve at least 85% of your sentence.
Apart from the criminal case, an individual can be sued for civil liability soon as they are convicted of criminal negligence. While this does not require a heavy burden of proof, it means then a large percentage of people who find themselves in these suits are found guilty. The penalties are imposed by courts at their discretion and are generally monetary compensations to the families of the victims of the accident.
Driving above recommended speed limits within the state
While we are discussing DUI, we cannot separate the other offenses that someone may commit while DUI. That is why driving above the given state limits is within this topic. Note: even a 1p/h above the stipulated speed limits may land you in trouble. Generally intoxication has the effect of impairing ones judgment when it comes to speed. This has the potential to have you thrown in jail. You could lose your driving license or get suspended out of this offense too. In order to get your license reinstated, you may need a SR-22.
However, you can challenge the officer’s claim of the speeding charges by questioning the gadgets used, or giving excuses as to the reason of your speeding. However, be warned it may not do you good as this may be a secondly accusation to the primary one of DUI. Proving you weren’t speeding, doesn’t exonerate you from the fact that you may have been caught DUI.
Apart from losing your driving privileges, should you cause property damage as a result of DUI, you will be sued and may have to pay damages for destruction of property. The amount of money you will pay will be determined by the court and may be determined by the extent of the damages, costs of repair or acquisition of new assets to get the property to its original status prior to the incident, your BAC and many other factors.
What are the other monetary costs of a DUI?
Apart from considering the fines you need to pay, you need to understand that the court process also requires money. For instance you may need to pay for filing costs and other miscellaneous costs that come with your DUI, like; State Restitution Fund, Driving/Alcohol Awareness School, Penalty Assessment among others. Not forgetting you may need to hire a lawyer. The state too may order you to acquire a SR-22 and while the document itself may not cost you much, your insurance premiums may be reviewed upwards by your insurance company in view of your new ‘high risk driver’ status.
It is easy to brush aside DUI as a non-issue, but the fact is, it causes a lot of damage, can lead to fatality as stated at the beginning and the law has had to be tightened to deal with rogue driving. One of the most important tools the Department of motor vehicles and courts in most states have enforced is the requirement of a SR-22. An SR-22 is a document drawn up by your insurance company to assure the courts or any interested parties that in case of an accident, you will be in a position to cater for the expected costs. May they be medical or repair costs. If you have been in a DUI situation, especially after the second time, chances are that you will be required to produce a SR-22 and carry it whenever you drive. You may also need it when trying to get your license suspension lifted.
A person who has DUI in their records is considered a high risk driver. Many insurance companies may not want to deal with this kind of people, mostly because they may not understand high risk insurance or may even be biased against such people, preferring to see them as ‘untouchable’. SR-22 tends to be complicated to people who have not dealt with it and therefore they will avoid it. What happens then when you are faced with a DUI and are required to acquire a SR-22? You talk to us.
We are high risk insurers, so you can be comfortable in the knowledge that this is our field. What will worry many others is what we tackle. We are not in the business of pointing fingers, and are thus more interested in knowing how we can help you. Full disclosure is of utmost importance and we take your disclosure with seriousness and accord it the attention to detail it requires. Our experience and nationwide reach is an assurance that wherever you are we will be there to get you sorted out. All you need is fill in the form we have provided and the rest is up to us. We understand accidents happen and sometimes one finds themselves in a tight corner they can’t get themselves out of without help. We are the help you need.
- DUI is not something to take lightly; the consequences of DUI are usually far reaching, beyond just one individual. People have lost their loved ones in alcohol related incidents, others have been maimed for life. Also the best way to ensure your insurance premiums are not a headache is to ensure that you are not a potential headache to the entire community. This therefore calls for sober and informed decisions. Drinking and driving is not an informed choice. Simply, if you must drink, do not drive. And if you must drive, do not drink. This way, you are potentially saving your own life.
- The extra costs you incur for a DUI are high.
- Penalties like 15 years in jail are not things to take lightly.
Your DUI may cost someone else their life.