Written by: Christopher Yotz
If you are
charged with a DWI in Missouri for the first time you may not realize how
complicated the issues may be with your license. There are two ways you can
potentially lose your license. It may be administratively suspended or it could
be suspended for points or for both.
license may be at risk for a reason separate from the criminal charge for
Driving While Intoxicated even if the criminal charge is never filed or it is
dismissed. After you are arrested the officer will request that you submit to a
chemical test of either your breath or blood. You can either agree or refuse.
(I will discuss what I think about testing or refusing in another post). Either
situation could lead to an administrative suspension. The length of the administrative
suspension will vary depending upon whether you choose to submit to the test.
agree to the test and test over .08% BAC then the officer will send a form to
the Missouri Department of Revenue and ask that your license be suspended for
testing over the limit. Such a suspension for a first offense will be for 90
days. Prior to the new law taking effect you would be eligible for a limited
driving privilege after 30 days and after filing SR-22 insurance. Under the new
law such a wait will be shorter if you agree to install an Ignition Interlock
Device on your vehicle.
refuse to take the test (simply not taking the test for whatever reason can be
claimed a refusal) the officer will still send a form to the State of Missouri
asking that your license be suspended. This suspension will be for 1 year. You
may be eligible for a limited driving privilege after 90 days. Under the new
laws this could be shorter.
contest either of the above suspensions. If you submitted to the test then you
have 15 days to file for an administrative hearing to contest this suspension.
If the officer claims you refused to submit to the test then you have 30 days
to file a civil action in the county court to contest the suspension.
case, the officer should give you a form stating that you have a 15 day permit
to drive (assuming you are otherwise eligible to drive). If the administrative
hearing is requested or civil action filed then this temporary driving
privilege may be extended.
of the above, you could also have your privilege to drive suspended if you are
convicted for Driving While Intoxicated in Missouri. If you are convicted the
Missouri Department of Revenue will assess 8 points to your driving privilege
for a first offense and 12 points if you have been previously convicted.