In Missouri, the "per se" intoxication standard for an adult is a .08% blood alcohol content (BAC). However, under Missouri’s zero tolerance law, drivers who are under 21 are subject to an automatic 90-day driver’s license suspension with a BAC of .02%. If the driver receives a second offense before the age of 21, their license may be revoked for a year. Drivers under 21 are not legally allowed to drink alcohol, so even just one or two drinks could easily put them over this zero tolerance limit.

Beyond the zero tolerance limit, if the underaged driver’s BAC is over the standard BAC limit (.08%), then they will face the same DWI charges as an over-21 adult would face. Any underaged driver charged with a DWI (either under the zero tolerance limit, the standard BAC limit, or driving under the influence of drugs) must complete a substance abuse traffic offender program before their license can be reinstated.

Like with drivers over 21, DWI consequences for those under 21 largely depends on how many previous offenses the driver has (if any), rather than the age of the offender. However, some of the unforeseen consequences of getting charged with a DWI at a young age are: suspension/expulsion from school; loss of scholarships/student aid; loss of eligibility for sports/other activities; denial of entrance into college; and hindering employment. It is very important to hire an experienced DWI attorney like myself who can guarantee the best possible outcome for your future.

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Updated on March 23rd, 2020