If you’ve been arrested for DWI in St. Louis, it probably already feels like you’ve already been convicted. However, hiring an effective St. Louis DWI lawyer can mean the difference in getting reduced charges, a dismissal, or preserving your ability to drive. St Louis DWI Lawyer Brian J. Cooke has represented numerous individuals for DWI, Felony DWI, DWI Manslaughter, DWI Drugs, and DWI with serious physical injury. Brian is a member of the National College of DWI Defense, was named top 10 in Client Satisfaction for DWI law/DUI cases in Missouri, has a perfect 10 rating on Avvo.com, and was named a “Rising Star” by Superlawyers magazine.

 

Free Consultation with A DWI Lawyer in St. Louis, MO

 

Our St. Louis DWI lawyer is here to answer any questions you may have about Missouri DWI laws and to help you navigate the Missouri criminal justice process. Learn more about your rights and options when facing DWI charges in St. Louis County, St. Louis City, St. Charles County, or Jefferson County.  Submit an online request for your free, confidential DWI consultation.

 

Missouri DWI/DUI laws—What is the legal limit for Adults, Juveniles, and Commercial Drivers?

 

Under RSMo § 577.010 RSMo, A person commits the offense of driving while intoxicated if he or she operates a vehicle in an intoxicated condition. The legal limit for alcohol for adults 21 and over is .08 percent. The legal limit for Juveniles and Adults under 21 is .02 percent. The legal limit for Commercial drivers with a CDL is .04 percent.

  • Missouri law defines “intoxicated condition” as being under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs.
  • A “Motor Vehicle” is defined as “a self-propelled mechanical device designed to carry a person or persons, excluding vessels or aircraft.”
  • Operating a motor vehicle is defined as “physically driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle”. Actual physical control of a motor vehicle is construed as existing or present bodily restraint, directing influence, domination, or regulation of a vehicle, and it exists even where the vehicle is motionless as long as the person is keeping the vehicle in restraint or is in a position to regulate its movements and the automobile is running. Taylor v. McNeill, 714 S.W.2d 947, 948 (Mo.App.1986). Furthermore, a finding of actual physical control is not defeated by the fact that the driver is asleep. Id.

Common Consequences for a DWI in St. Louis, MO

 

Drunk driving in St. Louis, MO is usually a misdemeanor and can result in jail time, probation, suspension of driving privileges, inability to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License), and other serious consequences. However, Missouri law allows the prosecuting attorney to enhance the charge based on prior DWI convictions.

  • 1st Offense DWI in Missouri : is a class B misdemeanor with a range of punishment of up to 6 months in jail and a fine of $1,000 or both.
  • 2nd Offense DWI in Missouri (Prior Offender): is a class A misdemeanor with a range of punishment of up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000 or both. A prior offender must serve 10 days imprisonment and may not receive a suspended imposition of sentence.
  • 3rd Offense DWI in Missouri (Persistent Offender): is a class E felony with a range of punishment of up to 4 years in prison and a fine of $10,000 or both. A persistent offender must serve a minimum of 30 days in jail and cannot receive a suspended imposition of sentence.
  • 4th Offense DWI in Missouri (Aggravated Offender): is a class D felony with a range of punishment of up to 7 years in prison and a fine of $10,000 or both. An aggravated offender must serve 60 days in jail and is not eligible for a suspended imposition of sentence.
  • 5th Offense DWI in Missouri (Chronic Offender): is a class C felony with a range of punishment of three to ten years in prison. A chronic offender is not eligible for probation or parole until he or she has served a minimum of two years of imprisonment.
  • 6th Offense DWI in Missouri (Habitual Offender): is a class B felony with a range of punishment of 5 to 15 years in prison. A habitual offender is not eligible for probation or parole until he or she has served a minimum of two years imprisonment.
What Will Happen to My Driver’s License after I am arrested for DWI in Missouri?

An experienced St. Louis DWI lawyer can request a hearing to challenge the suspension or revocation after a St. Louis DWI arrest. The hearing will often hinge on whether or not the officer administered the field sobriety tests and breath test correctly. We have track record of saving or clients from the following consequences to their Missouri Driver’s License:

Administrative Alcohol Suspension: If a breath or blood test indicates your blood alcohol content is above .08 percent, or .02 percent if you are under 21, your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of 90 days. If you have prior alcohol related suspensions, your license will be suspended for one year.

Refusal to Submit to Alcohol or Drug test: If you refuse to submit to an alcohol or drug test after being arrested for DWI in Missouri, your license can be revoked for a period of one year. You may be eligible for a Limited Driving Privilege (LDP) during the one year revocation. You must have an ignition interlock device and SR22 insurance to be eligible for a limited driving privilege.

Five year license Denial: If you receive two DWI convictions within a five year period, it will result in a five year denial of your license. To reinstate your Missouri Driver’s license you must petition the court, obtain SR22 insurance, and have an ignition interlock device installed for a period of 6 months.

10 year license Denial: If you receive three DWI convictions during your lifetime, you will receive a 10 year denial of your driving privilege. To reinstate your Missouri Driver’s license you must petition the court, obtain SR22 insurance, and have an ignition interlock device installed for a period of 6 months.

Can Missouri DWI Charges be Reduced, Dismissed, or Negotiated Down?
No DWI case is hopeless. We have experience defending every type of Missouri DWI—from first time offenders to DWI resulting in Death. Every DWI case comes down to a number of technical factors, such as the administration of field sobriety tests, the breath or blood test, calibration of the breath test machine and proper handling of blood samples. We have successfully beat DWI charges using the following DWI defense strategies:

  • The police did not have reasonable suspicion to stop you:  In order for a police officer to pull you over, he or she must have “reasonable suspicion” that you committed an offense. In a St. Louis DWI case, this will generally be a traffic violation such as speeding, weaving, or failing to stop at a stop sign.
  • Insufficient evidence of intoxication: The state must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were intoxicated at the time of driving. Generally, the prosecutor will use the Field Sobriety Tests, breath or blood tests, and the officer’s observations to prove intoxication. Our St. Louis DWI attorney has been successful in challenging this type of evidence in court and creating doubt intoxication in DWI cases.
  • Intoxication/Driving was not voluntary: In a recent DWI drugs case, our client was accused of driving in a drugged condition. Lab results indicated that client was positive for Ambien and Xanax. Client had just been prescribed the medications. We were able to persuade the prosecutor that our client had sleep driven and did not make a voluntary conscious decision to drive her car.

A Strong Defense for your DWI Case

We approach every Missouri DWI case with the goal of getting the best outcome possible for our client. In some cases, this can mean negotiating the DWI down to a lesser charge. In other cases, this can mean fighting the case at trial. If you or a loved one has been charged with DWI or any other drug crimes in St. Louis, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation so we can discuss your options.

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