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What are DWI penalties and defenses in Missouri?

Missouri laws set strict penalties for drunk driving. Anyone heading out to parties must ensure that they have a way home if they are going to have a few drinks. Despite the harshness of these laws, there are still some instances of drunk driving in this state. Some of these end in fatalities, which can lead to difficult legal situations for the person who is accused of drunk driving.

It is imperative that anyone who is accused of drunk driving understand what penalties they are facing. This can help them to determine what they are going to do about the charges.

What are the penalties?

The penalties for drunk driving in Missouri are based on blood alcohol concentration and whether the person has any previous drunk driving convictions. Any blood alcohol concentration over .08% is considered impaired. A BAC of over .15% comes with increased penalties. There are also increased penalties for subsequent convictions.

For a first DWI, you're facing a misdemeanor that includes up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500. If your BAC was .15% to .02%, you will have a 48-hour minimum jail sentence. If it is higher than that range, you have a 5-day minimum jail term.

Your driver's license is also suspended when you have a drunk driving conviction. The first time is a 90-day suspension, but you might be able to get restricted privileges instead of an outright suspension. You'd have to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.

What types of defenses are possible?

There are many defenses possible for this charge. You do have to ensure that the one you choose is factual, but how you state the facts might have an impact on the outcome of the case. Think carefully about the prosecution's claims against you so that you know how to address them. The goal of your defense is to make the jurors question the prosecutor's claims.

Some options include questioning the calibration of the breath test equipment or the amount of time it took to get the same for testing. It is sometimes possible to use a violation of your civil rights as part of your defense. A customized defense can improve the outcome of the case. Get to work as quickly as possible on your strategy.

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What are DWI penalties and defenses in Missouri? | The Law Office of Gregory N. Smith