DWI Second Offense
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 DWI in Missouri. The criminal penalties for DWI are more severe for those with multiple offenses. For a new DWI arrest, within 5 years of a prior DWI finding of guilt, the mandatory minimum jail sentence could be 10 days or a minimum of 30 days of community service. The maximum jail sentence for such a second offense is one year, but a judge can “suspend” the jail sentence and, instead, impose a two-year probation.
License suspensions are also more severe with multiple DWIs. For a second alcohol related enforcement contact within 5 years of the first, your license may be revoked for 1 year. However, if this is your second DWI conviction in a five-year period, your license will be revoked for five years. After this revocation period, the driver’s license will be reinstated; however, the driver will be required to maintain an ignition interlock device (IID) for at least six months following reinstatement.
The costs that come with a DWI are another unwanted penalty and can get expensive, especially with multiple DWI offenses. Fines, fees, and miscellaneous costs can pile up as follows:
TOTAL: Looking at just some of the costs, an individual is looking at costs of at least $5,000. This is for a second offense and with no accident and no additional tickets being issued. Most second-time DWI’s will cost even more than this, especially if within the same 5-year span.
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 DWI charges. This makes having an experienced DWI attorney like myself on your side a serious advantage. A DWI attorney can help you navigate through the entire confusing process that comes with a DWI and ensure that you get the best possible result.