DWI THIRD OR Subsequent Offense
In Missouri, an individual may be charged with DWI for "operating" a motor vehicle: (1) with a blood alcohol content (BAC) result 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. The criminal penalties for DWI are more severe for those with multiple offenses. If you have two previous findings of guilt for Excessive BAC or DWI, your most recent DWI arrest could become a FELONY. The mandatory minimum jail sentence for the lowest level of felony DWI, a class E felony, is 30 days in jail or 60 days of community service. The maximum jail sentence is 4 years in prison, but a judge can “suspend” the execution of sentence and, instead, impose up to a five-year probation with various special conditions like substance abuse treatment. However, the minimum requirement of 30 days in jail or 60 days of community service would still apply regardless of the judge suspending the jail sentence.
License suspensions are also more severe with multiple DWI convictions. For three or more DWI convictions in a lifetime, your driver’s license will be revoked for ten years. After this extensive revocation period, the driver’s license may be reinstated; however, an ignition interlock device (IID) will be required for at least six months following reinstatement. The driver may be able to receive an immediate hardship license during the ten years if they do not have a felony conviction. With a felony conviction the driver must complete a mandatory five year no driving period, unless an approved alternative court is successfully completed.
The costs that come with a DWI are another unwanted penalty and can get quite expensive, especially with multiple DWI offenses. Fines, fees, and miscellaneous costs can pile up as follows:
- Fines: $10,000
- Court Costs: $100+
- Probation Supervision Fees: $1,800
- Substance Abuse Traffic Offender’s Program (SATOP): $505-$1381
- Victims Impact Panel (VIP): $45
- SCRAM Device: $12 per day
- Ignition Interlock Device: $75 per month
- Lost Wages due to court dates or jail time
- Increased Insurance Premiums
- Transportation Costs if license suspended
TOTAL: Looking at just some of the costs, an individual is looking at costs of $15,000.
Do I Need to Hire a 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. An experienced 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.