A Closer Look at DWI Laws in Missouri

DWI laws All 50 states have laws regarding the operation of motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The criteria are generally the same for all states, but the enforcement and penalties can vary greatly. Here are the DWI laws to be aware of in Missouri.


Adult drivers of private vehicles in Missouri can be charged with “driving while intoxicated” (DWI) if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at least 0.08 percent. However, commercial drivers have a legal BAC limit of 0.04 percent, and drivers younger than 21 have a BAC limit of 0.02 percent.

Federal Law

Congress passed a law in 2000 requiring each state to set its BAC limit at 0.08 percent and establish the legal drinking age at 21.

DWI Penalties in Missouri

The first conviction for DWI in Missouri is a Class B misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of six months in jail time and a fine of up to $500. However, first-time offenders in Missouri usually get probation. A second conviction for DWI within five years of the first conviction is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 plus court costs. In addition, second-time offenders must serve at least two days in jail.

Three or more DWI convictions within a person’s lifetime can be a felony, with penalties that depend on the number of prior convictions. For the third offense, an offender can receive up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. More than three DWI offenses generally result in progressively greater penalties.

What Happens if I’m Arrested for Underage Drinking as a Minor?

When you have been accused of driving while intoxicated as a minor, you are at risk of further charges, including underage drinking, possession of alcohol as a minor, and possession of consumption, among other possible charges. When you choose our professional and experienced DWI attorneys in Columbia, WO, we will work with you to fight your charges.

Have You Been Charged with DWI in Missouri?

If you have been charged with a DWI in Missouri, schedule a consultation at Holder Susan Slusher, LLC, to learn more about obtaining representation in your DWI case. Contact our office today at 573-499-1700.

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