Missouri DUI Laws

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Michelle Ballestrasse
Updated on Jun 27, 2022 · 5 min read
Missouri DUI laws state that any driver over the age of 21 cannot have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. Commercial vehicle drivers cannot have a blood-alcohol level that exceeds 0.04%. Drivers under 21 cannot have a blood-alcohol level exceeding 0.02%.
Each year, over 10,000 people in the US are killed on the road as a result of drunk driving crashes.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a dangerous crime and penalties vary by state. Even a first-time offense can cost drivers up to $10,000 in fines and legal fees—and it will most certainly impact your car insurance rates, too.
The car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about DUI laws in Missouri.
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What is a DUI/DWI?

A DUI refers to driving under the influence while a DWI means driving while intoxicated or impaired. Each state defines the two differently if both are used. Missouri primarily uses the term DWI.
With a DWI, the charge could mean that the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination.
Drugs, in this instance, do not specifically mean illegal substances and can include marijuana, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medicines. If taking these drugs impairs you in any way while driving, you may be charged with a DWI.
Some states use a different terminology altogether, favoring OUI (operating under the influence) or OWI (operating while intoxicated). Missouri does not typically use these.

DWI in Missouri

In Missouri, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of:
  • 0.08% or higher if you’re 21 or older
  • 0.04% if you’re driving a commercial vehicle
  • 0.02% if you’re under the age of 21
You do not necessarily have to be driving to be charged with a DWI, you can be charged as long as you’re in a position to regulate the vehicle’s movements.
Every state has an implied consent law stipulating that you consent to be tested if you’re suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you’re lawfully arrested for a DWI, you must submit to a urine, blood, or breath test. You do not have a right to consult with a lawyer before completing the test.
Key Takeaway If you are pulled over for a suspected DWI, you are legally required to take a test.

Penalties for DWI in Missouri

Penalties for DWIs are severe in Missouri. The conviction will remain on your driving record and criminal record for 10 years. It cannot be expunged before then.

First conviction

FineUp to $1,000
JailUp to 6 months
License suspension30 days, then 60 days restricted
Ignition interlock device requiredPossible condition
SR-22 requirementYes
If your license is suspended, you may be eligible to apply for a restricted license if being unable to drive presents you with undue hardship.

Subsequent convictions

There are increased penalties for all subsequent DWI convictions.
Second conviction
FineUp to $2,000
JailUp to 1 year
License revocation1 year
Ignition interlock device required6 months minimum
SR-22 requirementYes
This is increased to five years if your previous conviction was within the last five years.
Third conviction
FineUp to $10,000
JailUp to 10 years
License revocation10 years
Ignition interlock device required6 months minimum
SR-22 requirementYes
Imposed jail sentences may be suspended by the court if certain conditions are met. This includes some days in jail, random testing, treatment for substance abuse, and continuous alcohol monitoring. Failing any of these requirements will result in the jail sentence being reinstated.
Key Takeaway Every state has minimum penalties for a DWI, which are often more severe if you’ve had previous offenses.
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Does a DWI impact car insurance in Missouri?

Yes, insurance companies take DWIs very seriously and you’ll be classified as a high-risk driver.
With a DWI on your record, you can reasonably expect that insurance carriers will charge you significantly higher rates or may refuse to insure you entirely. That’s where Jerry can help. Jerry quickly submits your info and presents you with quotes from up to 50 top providers, so that you don’t have to spend time reaching out to each company one by one.
Your insurance carrier will also be required to fill out an SR-22 to prove you have the state-mandated minimum insurance coverage.

Other effects of a DUI

Beyond the conviction penalties and higher insurance rates, DUIs can have some other lasting impacts on your life.
License revocation: After a DUI, you run the risk of having your license revoked if you’re charged with other serious offenses.
Ignition interlock device: All states have some type of ignition interlock program requiring drivers convicted of a DUI to install an interlock device in their vehicle to disable the engine if alcohol is detected on their breath.
Background checks: Your DUI will show up on a background check for up to five years after the conviction, which can cause issues for future employment endeavors.

How to find cheap insurance after a DWI

Finding affordable insurance after a DWI conviction can be difficult on your own. No matter what your record looks like, Jerry can help. Once you choose a policy, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to.
When your policy is up for renewal, Jerry is still on the job and will send you new quotes so you’re always paying the best price.
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