Unfortunately, a single mistake after a night out with friends could lead to serious criminal charges. People convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) could find that this charge impacts their lives for years. What should you know about the penalties for drunk driving in Missouri?
What are the penalties for a first-time DWI?
Even if you have no prior convictions on your record, a DWI charge could impact your life in many ways. Some consequences for a drunk driving conviction include a 90-day license suspension, fines of up to $500 and up to 6 months in jail.
Could you face more severe consequences for a conviction?
Details matter in a DWI case. Depending on your history and the circumstances surrounding your DWI charge, you may face more serious charges and more severe consequences.
For example, prior convictions for drunk driving can lead to increased penalties. For example, a second conviction becomes a class A misdemeanor with a minimum of 10 days in jail and up to $1000 in fines. Penalties could increase even more with multiple convictions on your record.
The amount of alcohol in your system can also influence the penalties for drunk driving, even if you do not have prior convictions on your record. While drivers will face a DWI with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%, drivers with a BAC between 0.15% and 0.20% must spend at least 48 hours in jail for a first conviction. Drivers with a BAC of 0.20% or more must spend at least 5 days in jail for a first conviction.
Finally, the circumstances of your arrest also matter. For example, a DWI charge becomes a higher-level misdemeanor if someone under 17 was in the vehicle at the time. Drunk driving charges could be felony-level offenses if the driver’s actions injured another person.
Because even a first-time DWI charge could significantly impact a person’s life, it is vital to seek experienced guidance. Building a solid defense could be essential to protecting yourself from a drunk driving charge and the penalties resulting from these charges.