If you are arrested for driving under the influence in St. Louis, it is imperative to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Missouri law imposes harsh consequences to DUI offenders, including license suspension, jail or prison sentences, fines, community services and other penalties depending on the circumstances of the arrest. If you are simultaneously involved in a divorce action and this arrest may damage child custody issues, discuss it with legal counsel right away.
In Missouri, DUI or DWI charges are brought against drivers who have an excess blood alcohol content, or refuse to submit to chemical testing when asked by law enforcement. Penalties are dependent on age, BAC levels, prior violations and current driving history, as well as if the DUI caused an accident, injuries or a situation where someone was killed.
Child custody and DUI.
In some cases of child custody, a DUI or DWI arrest can lead to a family law court intervention to make sure that the parent does not routinely drink and drive with children in the car. They can appoint a social worker to conduct an interview with the DUI offender and ex-spouse, interview children and other household members, investigate offender’s daily life schedule and routine, and perhaps even search the residence where the children live for evidence of alcohol, drug or other substance abuse.
Consequences of DUI.
When a driver violates state DUI laws, license suspensions and revocations may occur separately from court action related to the arrest. Motorists must complete required steps imposed by the DOR to reinstate license privileges. DWI traffic tickets are given to drivers who have a high BAC along with the assignment of demerit points with the state that are on record, and could lead to suspension or revocation of driving privileges.
- First DUI Offense -Missouri first time DUI offenders are subject to an administrative 90-day license suspension with the possibility to request a restricted license. In the event of a conviction due to an illegal amount BAC level, motorists will be required to pay a fine of up to $500 and spend a maximum of 6 months in prison, in addition to a 90-day license suspension.
- Second DUI Offense -Missouri second DUI offenders will incur a fine of up to $1,000 and will be required to serve a jail sentence of up to one year and a 1-year revocation of your credential will apply as well. If you have committed a violation for the second time within 5 years, you will be subject to a license denial for a 5-year period.
- Third and Subsequent DUI Offenses -Drivers charged with DUI for a third or more time result in even harsher penalties, including a maximum fine of $5,000 and up to 15 years in prison. A third DUI conviction will result in a 10-year license revocation.
- Causing bodily injury or death to another person while driving under the influence in Missouri is also considered a serious violation of state DUI laws and will lead to up to 7 years in prison, a maximum fine of $5,000 and/or loss of the offender’s license for a period of 5 years.
Seek legal counsel.
An experienced DUI lawyer at The Behrens Law Firm can assist you with legal action to defend your DUI arrest and simultaneously advise and assist with the child custody consequences of that arrest. Call for a free consultation.
Behrens Law Firm, LLC
75 W. Lockwood Ave., Ste. 222
Webster Groves, MO 63119