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Is Your License Immediately Revoked After a First DWI?
If you are charged with a DWI in Missouri, you face strict penalties, even if it is your first offense. The Missouri Department of Revenue suspends licenses of first-time offenders. However, the length of the suspension depends on whether you took or refused a breathalyzer test. Learn about the penalties, as well as your options to restore your driving privileges after getting arrested for a DWI in Missouri.
Missouri DWI penalties and legal options
Drivers who blow an 0.08% BAC or higher will have the driving privileges suspended for 30 days and then have Restricted Driving Privileges for 60 days. Those who refuse to take the breathalyzer test and are convicted of a DWI will lose their licenses for a year. People in both situations can restore driving privileges sooner, as long as the criteria are met. Those who fail to restore their driving privileges will have to stop driving 15 days after the DWI arrest.
Filing a petition for review
Drivers who refuse to take a breathalyzer test can file a Petition of Review. People only have 30 days to file the petition. The Department of Revenue acts as the prosecutor in the case. A first-time offender might be offered an SIS (suspended imposition of sentence) agreement, which means the person admits to the DWI without being convicted and losing the license. To reach an agreement, the defendant must agree to different restrictions, such as not drinking for one to two years, avoiding places that serve alcohol, and complying with all laws for two years.
Filing an administrative review
Drivers who are charged with DWI after blowing 0.08% or higher can file an Administrative Review to fight the charges. The paperwork must be filed within 15 days of the DWI. For the case to be successful, the defendant must prove that there was no probable cause for the arrest, or the breathalyzer results were not accurate. For example, if the device was not properly calibrated, the defendant could win the case and have the license reinstated immediately.
Getting restricted driving privileges
Drivers might be eligible to get Restricted Driving Privileges immediately after the DWI conviction. To qualify, drivers must file a "Request for Immediate 90-Day Restricted Driving Privilege" form within 15 days of the notice to suspend the license. Drivers also must install an ignition interlock device and obtain SR-22 insurance. Then, the drivers need to file proof of installation and insurance.
Seek legal counsel
Missouri takes DWI penalties seriously. If you have been convicted of a DWI, you could be forced to live without your license for months or even a year. Seek legal counsel to file a Petition for Review, an Administrative Review, or to get your restricted driving privileges. Your attorney will help you navigate the difficult process as you get closer to restoring your driving privileges.
Call us at (417) 865-2181 for more information from Dean Price Law or to schedule a consultation in our office in Springfield. NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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