There are no circumstances that warrant drunk driving. Statistics state that the act of drinking and driving kills 28 people a day in the U.S. At one time, Missouri had the 9th highest number of drunk-driving fatalities in the country with 432 in the year 2000. In 2018, the number of fatalities had fallen to 240. Even though numbers are dropping, one death from drinking and driving is one too many.
What is the difference between DUI and DWI in Missouri?
In Missouri, there is no legal difference between driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI). A DWI in Missouri is given to those drivers who are found to be operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. Even if you choose to pull over to the side to “sleep it off,” if you don’t turn off the ignition, you are still considered to be operating a motor vehicle and can be charged.
DWIs are also given to those drivers under the age of 21 who are found driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.02 or higher. Missouri also uses the legal term of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID). If you are charged with a DUID, whether it’s cold medication or illegal drugs, you will still receive a hefty penalty.
Recovering your license
If your driver’s license was revoked because of a DWI, there are three steps you need to take to get it reinstated.
#1 File proof of SR-22 insurance
Drivers in Missouri with serious traffic violations like driving while under the influence (DWI), need an SR-22. This form is filed by their insurance provider and confirms their insurance covers minimum car insurance requirements in Missouri. There is no difference between standard car insurance and SR-22 car insurance, except SR-22 is more expensive because of the severity of the traffic violation.
#2 Complete SATOP
SATOP stands for Substance Awareness Traffic Offender Program. SATOP consists of an assessment and completion of a program. Its purpose is to educate drivers about the hazards and consequences of impaired driving, promote safe and responsible decision-making when it comes to driving, and encourage personal change. The goal of the program is to reduce the number of repeat offenders.
#3 Pay a reinstatement fee
In Missouri, the reinstatement fee is $45 paid to the Missouri Department of Revenue. Although that may initially seem small, there are multiple fees for multiple reasons. For instance, if you received a speeding ticket along with a DWI, you would pay two fees.
Needing the assistance of a DWI attorney
Driving privileges may be suspended or revoked for accumulation of points following a plea of guilty or conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Additionally, driving privileges may also be suspended or revoked by the Missouri Department of Revenue. It’s important to talk with an experienced attorney to apply for a “hardship driver’s license” so you are still able to drive to and from work while your license is revoked.
If someone is convicted of more than one DWI and has their license revoked for a one, five, or ten-year period, you need an attorney to file a petition in court to get limited driving privileges even if your license revocation isn’t fully served. Without limited driving privileges, you will need an attorney to help you avoid mandatory jail time for driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license.
Contact Scott Hamblin
Contact us today to set an appointment to speak with Scott about your case. Scott has experience in navigating these DWI cases in Missouri and is here to assist you.