Missouri DWI Laws: FAQ

What is the legal drinking limit for drivers in Missouri?

The blood alcohol limit in Missouri is a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 or above, unless you are under the age of 21. If you are under the age of 21 and your BAC is 0.02 or higher then you are legally intoxicated. Additionally, the limit for commercial drivers is 0.04 or above. If your BAC exceeds the legal limit you will be charged with DWI.

What are the penalties for DWI in Missouri?

The possible penalties for a DWI conviction in Missouri include:

1st Conviction:

  • Fines: Up to $500,
  • Jail: Up to 6 Months, and
  • 30 Day Driver’s License Suspension (followed by a 60-day restricted driving privilege).


2nd Conviction:

  • Fines: Up to $1,000,
  • Jail: Up to 1 Year,
  • Ignition Interlock Device Required for License Reinstatement, and
  • 1 Year Driver’s License Revocation (5 year revocation if 2nd conviction within 5 years).


3rd Conviction:

  • Fines: Up to $5,000,
  • Jail: Up to 4 Years,
  • Ignition Interlock Device Required for License Reinstatement, and
  • 10 Year Driver’s License Revocation.


4th Conviction:

  • Fines: Up to $5,000,
  • Jail: Up to 7 Years,
  • Ignition Interlock Device Required for License Reinstatement, and
  • 10 Year Driver’s License Revocation.


5th Conviction:

  • Fines: Up to $5,000,
  • Jail: 5-15 Years,
  • Ignition Interlock Device Required for License Reinstatement, and
  • 10 Year Driver’s License Revocation.


Additionally, if you injure or kill someone because you were drinking or using drugs
while driving, you may:

  • Spend 2 to 7 years in jail,
  • Pay a $5,000 fine, and/or
  • Lose your driver license for 5 Years.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device and, when am I required to have one under Missouri law?

An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a mechanical unit that is connected to the vehicle’s ignition, horn, and headlights and measures the concentration of alcohol in a person’s breath. The IID requires vehicle operators to provide a breath sample before starting the vehicle and periodically during the operation of the vehicle.

If you have more than one alcohol-related contact showing on your driving record, you must have an IID installed on any vehicle you operate before your driving privilege can be reinstated. The IID must be installed for a minimum of six months from your reinstatement date. Additionally, you must pay for having the device installed and for having it serviced every month.

If you fail to maintain the IID during the six-month period, your driving privilege will be re-suspended. You will be required to have the device serviced/installed, send proof to the driver license bureau, and pay a $20 reinstatement fee before having your driving privilege reinstated.

Will my license be suspended immediately after a DWI in Missouri?

Not necessarily. If your BAC level is .08% or more (or for minors .02% or more), the officer will take your license away and give you a notice. This notice tells you that your license will be suspended or revoked (and you will not be able to legally drive) after 15 days.

The notice includes a 15-day driving permit that you can use if the officer indicates this on the notice. The notice also includes a form that allows you to request a hearing. If you are given a hearing, you may continue to legally drive until 15 days after a decision is mailed to you.

How do I get my license reinstated after a DWI in Missouri?

If you need to drive to work or as part of your job, to school or to medical care, you may be eligible for a hardship driver's license. An attorney can help you to determine if this is an option in your case.

A license suspension or revocation lasts for a fixed period of time. At the end of that period, your license does not automatically come back to you. It's up to you to apply for reinstatement.

Reinstatement Requirements:
• Paying a $45 fee;
• Submitting  a form showing you completed a Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) or comparable program;
• Provide proof of insurance for two years (SR-22 filing);and
• Have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on any vehicle you operate for at least six months from date of reinstatement.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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