Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense, and Missouri has specific laws that dictate how you can be penalized if convicted. There are numerous types of alcohol actions, such as those for drug or alcohol-test refusals, administrative alcohol arrests and alcohol- and drug-related convictions.

The thing you should be most concerned about is the number of convictions on your record. To start with, if this is your first arrest for a DWI, that puts you in a better position than if it is your fourth or fifth. On a first offense, you will lose your license for 90 days on a suspension. However, you may be able to qualify for Restricted Driving Privilege licensing, which allows you to drive to certain places or during certain times.

Do points matter on your license?

Points are also added to your license if your blood alcohol content is .04 percent of higher. Two points are added for the offense. What’s significant about this is that the two points invalidate your commercial driver’s license, if you have one. That means that you may be unable to drive commercially for a period of a year upon conviction.

How do penalties change upon subsequent convictions?

If you are convicted a second time for a DWI, you will typically receive a 1-year license revocation. If this is the second time within five years, you may also have a 5-year license denial lodged against you. If this is the third time you’re facing a conviction, a conviction could lead to a 10-year license denial.

What happens when your BAC is over .08 percent?

When you’re arrested for a BAC of .08 percent or higher, the charge is filed administratively and criminally. You will face administrative penalties as well as criminal penalties for driving under the influence.

You may seek an administrative hearing within 15 days of receiving the Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privilege form. You may be able to seek your Restricted Driving Privilege, also, which allows you to continue driving under the requirement that you have an ignition interlock device, IID, installed in your vehicle to prevent further intoxicated driving.

Your attorney can help you fight the charges if you are arrested for drinking and driving. At worst, your attorney will be able to help you understand the penalties and how to seek alternative penalties when possible. At best, there is a possibility to fight a DWI case and win.