Kansas City DWI Law Firms
Missouri driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a very serious charge and can be very expensive. Referred to as DUI or OWI in many states, a DWI conviction can have consequences beyond the criminal and administrative penalties, including increased insurance premiums and limitations on the typed of jobs you can hold.
Breath Test Refusal – Implied Consent
Many states have implied consent laws which state that by obtaining your driver’s license or by driving in that state, you have given your consent to take chemical tests to determine if you have been drinking and to be used as evidence against you.
Under Missouri’s implied consent law, if you are arrested for DWI and refuse to take a breath, blood, or urine test, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year. If it is your first refusal you may be required to complete a substance abuse traffic offender program (SATOP), at your expense, in order to get your license back.
For your second and subsequent refusals, your license will be suspended for one year, SATOP is mandatory, and when your license is reinstated you will have to have an interlock ignition device on your vehicle for the first six months.
Upon refusal, the officer will immediately take your driver’s license from you and give you a 15 day permit to drive. You can request a hearing to try to get your license back.
Penalties Under Missouri DWI Law
Penalties for your first DWI conviction in Missouri can include:
Up to six months in jail
Up to $500 in fines
30 days of driver’s license suspension with an additional 60 days of driving restrictions
Eight points on your driving record
License reinstatement fee
Interlock ignition device (breathalyzer installed in your vehicle)
For your first DWI, you may be eligible for a special type of plea agreement called Suspended Imposition of Sentence (SIS). In an SIS, you plead guilty to the charge, and serve probation with strict requirements. In return, the sentence for your charge is not imposed and there are no points on your driver’s license. If you violate the terms at any time during your probation period, the full sentence can be imposed.
For some DWI defendants, SIS can be a good compromise, but you should never plead guilty to DWI without talking to an experienced lawyer from a Kansas City DWI law firm first. Meeting all of the terms of your agreement can be very difficult and the state’s case against you may be full of holes. You should only accept an SIS deal as a last resort.