Drunk Drivers Face Serious Legal Consequences in Jefferson City & Throughout Missouri

March 29, 2012,

1217438_bar.jpgThis week, the Missouri Highway Patrol's Troop F announced plans for upcoming DWI checkpoints and saturation initiatives in Cole and Camden counties. According to Captain Gregory D. Kindle, the checkpoints and saturation patrols will be conducted sometime before the end of March. These efforts are designed to crack down on drunk drivers and prevent the car accidents they so frequently cause. The Patrol "urges all citizens to report any vehicle they observe operating in a careless manner," the news release says. "The public can contact the Highway Patrol toll-free at 1-800-525-5555 or on a cellular phone at *55."

By now, the vast majority of drivers are well aware of the risks and dangers associated with driving under the influence. And yet - as these law enforcement initiatives demonstrate - there are still drunk drivers on the road. If you cause an accident while driving drunk, you will face serious legal consequences. In addition to being sued in civil court by those you've injured, Missouri also has serious criminal penalties for drunk drivers.

First Offense:

• Missouri Criminal Status: Class B misdemeanor.

• Jail: Up to 6 months.

• Missouri Fines/Costs: Not more than $500

• Missouri License Suspension: 30 days.

• Violation of Zero Tolerance Law: 90 day license suspension, attend DUI school and pay fines.

• Missouri Conditional License: After the 30-day suspension, the driver may receive a 60-day restricted driving privilege. The driver is eligible for full reinstatement after 90 days if all reinstatement requirements are met.

• Missouri DUI School: All DUI offenders must complete a Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program before having their license reinstated and must pay for a mandatory alcohol assessment / treatment evaluation. First offenders with a high blood alcohol level may have to attend an intensive weekend intervention program. Check with the Substance Abuse Traffic Offenders Program, for more information.

• Missouri Probation: At the discretion of the court.

• Missouri Community Service: At the discretion of the court. None required by law.

Subsequent Offenses:

• Missouri Criminal Status: Class A misdemeanor for 2nd offense (called a "prior offender"); Class D felony for a 3rd offense (called a "persistent offender").

• Jail: Prior Offender: Up to 1 year, with a minimum of 5 days served unless a minimum of 30 days community service is served.

• Jail: Persistent Offender: Up to 4 years, with a minimum of 10 days served unless a minimum of 60 days community service is served.

• Missouri Fines/Costs for Prior Offender: Not more than $1,000

• Missouri Fines/Costs for Persistent Offender: Not more than $5,000.

• Missouri License Revocation: One year.

• Missouri Conditional License: Conditional licensing may be allowed for some offenders who demonstrate undue hardship.

• Missouri DUI School: All DUI offenders must complete a Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program before having their license reinstated and must pay for a mandatory alcohol assessment / treatment evaluation. First offenders with a high blood alcohol level may have to attend an intensive weekend intervention program.

• Missouri Probation: Not allowed for prior and persistent offenders unless a minimum of 30-60 days of community service are served.

The car crash lawyers at Aaron Sachs and Associates represent accident injury victims in Columbia, Jeff City, Camdenton, Osage Beach, and the surrounding areas. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 1-888-777-AUTO, or visit our website.

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