Missouri Driving While Intoxicated

Driving While Intoxicated charges are extremely serious charges not only in Missouri, but in every state in the United States. Intoxication is defined in Missouri as “when a person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or drug, or any combination thereof.”


In Missouri the blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is considered driving while intoxicated. Depending on your situation or the amount of prior DWI’s a person has could determine if the charge is going to be a misdemeanor or a felony. If you have a commercial driver’s license with a BAC of 0.04% or higher or are a minor with a BAC of 0.02% or more, you will also face DWI charges


First Offense DWI

Your first DWI in Missouri will be a Class B Misdemeanor, punishable to at least 6 months in jail and fines up to $500. In addition, you will be force to enter into an alcohol treatment or addiction program.


Second Offense DWI

If you’ve received a second DWI within a 5 year people, you will be considered a prior offender for the second charge. In Missouri, a DWI with prior offender status is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $1,000. In addition, you may be facing a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail before being eligible for probation or parole.


Third Offense DWI

A third DWI charge can be eligible for persistent offender status. A persistent offender is another who has two or more prior convictions for DWI. Missouri use to have a time restriction where if a prior DWI was outside of the 10 year window, it wouldn’t be considered a third DWI charge; this is no longer the case. Regardless of how long ago your prior DWI charges were, the State can enhance your charges to persistent offender status.


A persistent offender DWI charge in Missouri is a Class E Felony, punishable up to 4 years in prison and fines up to $5,000. You may also have to serve a minimum of 30 days in jail before you’ll be eligible for probation or parole.


Fourth Offense DWI

After your fourth DWI offense, you will be considered an aggravated offender. An aggravated offender in Missouri is a person who has been found guilty of (1) Three or more intoxication-related traffic offenses committed on separate occasions; or (2) Two or more intoxication-related traffic offenses committed on separate occasions where at least one of the intoxication-related traffic offenses is an offense committed in violation of any state law, county or municipal ordinance, any federal offense, or any military offense in which the defendant was operating a vehicle while intoxicated and another person was injured or killed.


A fourth DWI in the State of Missouri is a Class D Felony, punishable up to 7 years in prison and fines of $5,000. There is also a mandatory minimum of 60 days in jail before being eligible for probation or parole.


Driving While Intoxicated charges are serious charges and can have a lasting impact on your life. In addition to the criminal charges, you will be facing suspension of your driver license. A DWI conviction could prohibit you from getting a job or could result in your losing your job or professional license.


Contact Howard Haake at (314) 325-9868 for a free consultation about your DWI charge and learn what rights and remedies are best for your situation. Time is of the essence, contacting an experienced attorney quickly will help you retain your driving privileges and help prevent you from a DWI conviction.

Related: The DWI Process in Missouri. Part 1: The Calm Before the Storm., Part 2: The DWI Stop,





Howard Haake is a St. Louis law firm based in Clayton, Missouri focused on business law, criminal defense, family law and estate planning. We handle all business matters from incorporation to acquisition as well as criminal defense charges from arrest to trial. Howard Haake helps clients in St. Louis, St. Charles, St. Peters, O'Fallon, Brentwood, Columbia, Eureka, Richmond Heights, Clayton, Jennings, Kirkwood, Maplewood, Manchester, Northwoods, Olivette, University City, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, Bridgeton, Florissant, Ladue, Webster Groves, Hazelwood, Hillsboro, Washington, Union, Hermann, Pacific, and throughout St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, Warren County, Gasconade County, Boone County, Crawford County, Montgomery County, and Marion County.

​​DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for general and informational purposes only and should not be interpreted to indicate a certain result will occur in your specific legal situation. Information on this website is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Evan M. Howard, Howard Law,  Avvo Profile

© 2015 by Howard Haake, LLC.

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