DWI First Offense 

Updated on October 3rd, 2021

In Missouri, an individual may be charged with DWI for "operating" a motor vehicle, with: (1) a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or above; or (2) in an intoxicated condition –  meaning the facts show the individual is under the influence of any combination of alcohol or illegal/prescription drugs.

A BAC of .08% or more is considered intoxicated in Missouri. The jail sentence for someone charged with a first-time DWI offense can be up to 6 months. These jail sentences may also increase based on whether the BAC result is over .15% (triggers a mandatory minimum of 2 days) or over .2% (triggers a mandatory minimum 5 days).

First offenses, if not handled by an experienced DWI attorney like myself, may result in jail time, loss of license for 90 days, and points on your license.

The costs associated with a DWI are another unwanted penalty, and even first-time offenses can get expensive. Fines, fees, and miscellaneous costs can pile up as follows:

  • Fines: $1,000
  • Court Costs: $100+
  • Probation Fees: $600
  • Substance Abuse Traffic Offender’s Program (SATOP): $505-$1381
  • Victims Impact Panel (VIP): $45
  • SCRAM device: $12 a day
  • Ignition Interlock Device: $75 a month
  • Lost Wages due to court dates or jail time
  • Increased Insurance Premiums
  • Transportation Costs if your license is suspended

TOTAL: Looking at just some of the costs, an individual is facing approximately $2,500. Some first time DWI’s cost even more because of additional traffic offenses and/or an accident. 

Do I Need to Hire an Experienced DWI Attorney?

These fees and penalties may be daunting and seemingly endless. However, unlike many other states, Missouri allows for the dismissal or amendment of a DWI charge. This makes having an experienced DWI attorney like myself on your side a serious advantage. A DWI attorney can help you to navigate through the entire confusing process that comes with a DWI and ensure that you get the best possible result.

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Updated on October 3rd, 2021