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DUI, DWI & Criminal Legislation in Missouri  

Driving With Excessive Blood Alcohol Content , section: 577.012

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Substantive DUI/Excess Alcohol Offense, The definition of Driving With Excessive Blood Alcohol Content in a Missouri DUI / DWI / BAC or other drunk driving case

1. A person commits the crime of "driving with excessive blood alcohol content" if such person operates a motor vehicle in this state with eight- hundredths of one percent or more by weight of alcohol in such person's blood.

2. As used in this section, percent by weight of alcohol in the blood shall be based upon grams of alcohol per one hundred milliliters of blood or two hundred ten liters of breath and may be shown by chemical analysis of the person's blood, breath, saliva or urine. For the purposes of determining the alcoholic content of a person's blood under this section, the test shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of sections 577.020 to 577.041.

3. For the first offense, driving with excessive blood alcohol content is a class B misdemeanor.

Comments : MISSOURI DUI / DWI / BAC LAW GENERAL OFFENSE CATEGORIES

Before beginning a discussion of Missouri DUI / DWI / BAC cases, it is important to note that in every Missouri alcohol-traffic offense, it is important for a driver facing theses charges to understand that there are two separate components to these types of cases. Each Missouri case involving impairment and a vehicle have both a civil and criminal element must be dealt with separately.

The criminal portion of a Missouri DUI / DWI / BAC case involves the State of Missouri attempting to fine a driver and or put him in jail for one of the criminal alcohol-related traffic offenses listed below, or in the separate section of Missouri felony DWI traffic offenses. The civil portion of a Missouri DUI / DWI / BAC case involves the Director of Revenue of the State of Missouri attempting to take action against the driver's driving privilege in the State of Missouri, separate from the criminal charge in the case.

MISSOURI DUI / DWI / BAC CRIMINAL CLASSIFICATIONS

In Missouri, most alcohol-related traffic offenses are classified as driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses, unlike some states which call these charges Driving Under the Influence (DUI). DWI in Missouri is the "under the influence charge." Missouri also has a separate alcohol-related traffic offense called BAC (driving with an excessive blood alcohol content), which is the "per se" equivalent of the under the influence charge of DWI ("if you are above the 0.08% BAC limit you are 'per se' guilty of BAC.").

At first look, the elements of the charge of DWI and BAC appear the same, but there are significant differences between the two in a driver's Missouri DWI / BAC criminal case. The State of Missouri's burden of proof is different for each offense, and whether the driver is charged with DWI or BAC in the case will significantly effect how the trial will be handled by the defense attorney.

In Missouri, a person commits the under the influence crime of DWI if "he operates a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition." RSMo. 577.010. For a BAC charge, the driver may be found guilty of BAC anytime a blood, breath, or urine test is proved conclusive in determining the person operated a motor vehicle in Missouri with eight- hundredths of one percent or more by weight of alcohol in such person's blood (driving with a BAC greater than the limit of 0.08%) RSMo. 577.012.

The charges of DWI and BAC are two separate offenses in Missouri, and BAC is not the lessor included offense of DWI. The easy rule of thumb for remembering the main difference between the two charges is a driver can be convicted of DWI if enough evidence of actual impairment is presented by the state, even without a chemical test of the driver's blood, breath or urine, (as in a case where the driver refuses a chemical test in their Missouri DWI case), where a BAC charge requires a valid chemical test for conviction.

MISSOURI DWI / BAC FIRST OFFENSE OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE NOT WITHIN FIVE YEARS OF A PRIOR ALCOHOL RELATED TRAFFIC OFFENSE CASES

A Missouri DWI / BAC will be charged as a Class B Misdemeanor where there is not another similar charge in the past five years, or two other similar charges in the past ten years. A Missouri Class B Misdemeanor carries a potential fine up to $500.00, plus court costs. The maximum jail term allowed in Missouri for a Class B Misdemeanor is six months imprisonment. RSMo. 558.011.

A "Suspended Imposition of Sentence" (SIS) probation is generally available for Class B Misdemeanor DWI / BAC offenses in many counties in Missouri, which means if you plead guilty, you will be given a sentence that is "suspended," and you will be placed on probation for two years by law. If you successfully complete your probationary period, the conviction will not "show" on your permanent record. However, the courts will see this in their internal record keeping, and will treat it as a prior offense should you receive another similar violation in the future.

It should be noted that many rural counties in Missouri do not offer such lenient terms as offered by an SIS probation for DWI / BAC offenses, even for first time offenses. Boone County Missouri, in particular, is a notorious example of one of several counties which will force you to plead up to the court even on first time offenses, and receive no probation with a Class B Misdemeanor conviction showing on your record, or will give an Suspended Execution of Sentence (SES) probation. An SES probation means you will be placed on probation for two years, and if you successfully complete the SES probation you can usually avoid jail time, but the Class B Misdemeanor conviction will show on your record at the end of the probationary period even where it is completed successfully, i.e., an SES only avoids jail time and carries all the other penalties the same as if you plead guilty without an attorney.

ENHANCEMENT OF A SECOND OR GREATER MISSOURI DWI / BAC CRIMINAL CHARGE

In Missouri, a second or subsequent DWI / BAC charge can have it's penalties enhanced from those penalties for a first-time offense. The types of offense which may be enhanced are listed in RSMo. 577.023. These include DWI (577.010), BAC (577.012), involuntary manslaughter (565.024), assault in the second degree (565.060), assault of a law enforcement officer (acting with criminal negligence when injuring an officer while driving while intoxicated-565.082), or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in violation of a county or municipal ordinance where the judge is an attorney and the driver was represented by an attorney or waived the right to an attorney in writing.

MISSOURI DWI / BAC SECOND OFFENSE WITHIN FIVE YEARS OF A PRIOR DWI / BAC CONVICTION

A second DWI / BAC charge in five years in Missouri is a Class A Misdemeanor, which carries a potential fine up to $1,000, plus court costs. The maximum jail term allowed in Missouri for a Class A Misdemeanor is one year imprisonment. RSMo. 558.011. A person who receives a second DWI / BAC charge within five years of a prior similar conviction is a "prior offender" under the Missouri statutes.

RSMo. 577.023.1(3) defines a "prior offender" as a person who has pleaded guilty to or has been found guilty of one intoxication-related traffic offense, where such prior offense occurred within five years of the occurrence of the intoxication-related traffic offense for which the person is charged.

For probation for a Missouri Class A misdemeanor DWI / BAC offense, no court can give a SIS probation or allow the driver to pay a fine in place of imprisonment. To receive probation for a Missouri Class A misdemeanor DWI / BAC offense, either SIS or SES, the driver must serve a minimum of five days imprisonment or thirty days community service under supervision.

IGNITION INTERLOCK IN MISSOURI CLASS A MISDEMEANOR DWI / BAC CASES.

Under RSMo. 577.600, Missouri Courts are now required to give any driver who pleads guilty to a second or greater DWI or BAC charge what is called ignition interlock. This means any court granting limited driving privileges to any person who is found guilty or pleads guilty to a second or subsequent DWI or BAC SHALL REQUIRE the use of ignition interlock in all vehicles operated by the person as a required condition of the limited driving privilege for a period of not less than one month.

MISSOURI CLASS D FELONY DWI / BAC THIRD OFFENSE WITHIN 10 YEARS

This category of DWI in Missouri is a Class D Felony, which carries a potential fine up to $5,000, plus court costs. The maximum jail term allowed in Missouri for a Class D Felony is five years imprisonment. RSMo. 558.011. A person who receives a third DWI / BAC charge within ten years is a "persistent offender" under the Missouri statutes.

RSMo. 577.023.1(2) (a) & (b) defines a "persistent offender" as one of the following: A person who has pleaded guilty to or has been found guilty of two or more intoxication-related traffic offenses, where such two or more offenses occurred within ten years of the occurrence of the intoxication-related traffic offense for which the person is charged; A person who has pleaded guilty to or has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, assault in the second degree, or assault of a law enforcement officer in the second degree.

For probation for a Missouri Class D Felony DWI / BAC offense, no court can give a SIS probation or allow the driver to pay a fine in place of imprisonment. To receive probation for a Missouri Class D Felony DWI / BAC offense, the "persistent offender" driver must serve a minimum of ten days imprisonment or sixty days community service under supervision.

IGNITION INTERLOCK IN MISSOURI CLASS D FELONY DWI / BAC CASES.

Under RSMo. 577.600, Missouri Courts are now required to give any driver who pleads guilty to a second or greater DWI or BAC charge what is called ignition interlock. This means any court granting limited driving privileges to any person who is found guilty or pleads guilty to a second or subsequent DWI or BAC SHALL REQUIRE the use of ignition interlock in all vehicles operated by the person as a required condition of the limited driving privilege for a period of not less than one month.

Missouri DUI / DWI / BAC DRUNK DRIVING DEFENSE

FURTHER INFORMATION:

J. Matthew Guilfoil, The Guilfoil Law Group, L.L.C. 1656 Washington, Suite 220 Kansas City, Missouri 64108 (816) 842-3717 phone, 1-877-DWI-MATT Toll Free Number; Email: info@guilfoillawgroup.com.

Practice in the following Regions, Cities, and Counties in Missouri.

KANSAS CITY METROPOLITAN AREA

Cass County. Archie, Austin, Belton, Cleveland, East Lynne, Freeman, Garden City, Harrisonville, Lake Annette, Latour, Peculiar, Pleasant Hill, Raymore, Strasburg, West Line, 64012, 64078, 64080, 64083, 64090, 64701, 64725, 64734, 64743, 64746, 64747.

Clay County. Avondale, Birmingham, Claycomo, Crystal Lakes, Excelsior Estates, Excelsior Springs, Gladstone, Holt, Homestead Village, Kansas City, Kearney, Liberty, Mosby, North Kansas City, Pleasant Valley, Randolph, Smithville, Wood Heights. 64024, 64048, 64060, 64068, 64069, 64072, 64073, 64089, 64116, 64117, 64118, 64119, 64155, 64156, 64157, 64158, 64160, 64161, 64165, 64166, 64167.

Jackson County. Blues Springs, Buckner, Grain Valley, Grandview, Greenwood, Independence, Kansas City, Lake Lotawana, Lake Tapawingo, Lake Winnebago, Lee's Summit, Levasy, Lone Jack, Oak Grove, Raytown, Sibley, Sugar Creek. 64013, 64014, 64015, 64016, 64029, 64030, 64034, 64050, 64051, 64052, 64053, 64054, 64055, 64056, 64057, 64058, 64063, 64064, 64066, 64070, 64075, 64081, 64082, 64086, 64088, 64101, 64102, 64103, 64105, 64106, 64108, 64109, 64110, 64111, 64112, 64113, 64114, 64120, 64121, 64123, 64124, 64125, 64126, 64127, 64128, 64129, 64130, 64131, 64132, 64133, 64134, 64136, 64137, 64138, 64139, 64141, 64142, 64145, 64146, 64157, 64148, 64149, 64179, 64188, 64191, 64192, 64196, 64199, 64171, 64172.

Platte County. Camden Point, Dearborn, Farley, Edgerton, Ferrelview, Houston Lake, Kansas City, Lake Waukomis, Parkville, Platte City, Platte Woods, Riverside, Waldron, Weatherby Lake, Weston. 64018, 64028, 64079, 64092, 64098, 64108, 64150, 64151, 64152, 64153, 64154, 64163, 64164, 64168, 64190, 64195, 64439, 64444.

Ray County. Camden, Hardin, Henrietta, Elmira, Lawson, Orrick, Rayville, Richmond. 64017, 64035, 64036, 64062, 64077, 64084, 64085.

Other Areas of Service in Missouri

Andrew County. Rea, Rosendale, Savannah. 64480, 64483, 64485.

Bates County. Adrian, Amoret, Amsterdam, Butler, Drexel, Foster, Hume, Stotesbury, Passaic, Rich Hill, Rockville. 64720, 64722, 64723, 64730, 64742, 64745, 64752, 64777, 64779, 64780.

Boone County. Ashland, Centralia, Columbia, Hallsville, Harrisburg, Hartsburg, McBaine, Rocheport, Sturgeon. 65010, 65039, 65201, 65202, 65203, 65205, 65240, 65255, 65256, 65279, 65284.

Buchanan County. Agency, De Kalb, Easton, Faucett, Rushville, St. Joseph. 64400, 64401, 64443, 64448, 64484, 64501, 64502, 64503, 64504, 64505, 64506, 64507, 64508.

Caldwell County. Braymer, Breckenridge, Cowgill, Hamilton, Kidder, Kingston. 64624, 64625, 64637, 64644, 64649, 64650.

Carroll County. Bogard, Bosworth, Carrollton, De Witt, Hale, Norborne, Stet, Tina, Wakenda. 64622, 64623, 64633, 64639, 64643, 64668, 64680, 64682, 64687.

Chariton County. Mendon, Rothville, Sumner. 64660, 64676, 64681.

Clinton County. Cameron, Gower, Lathrop, Plattsburg, Trimble, Turney. 64429, 64454, 64465, 64477, 64492, 64493.

Cooper County. Blackwater, Boonville, Bunceton, Otterville, Pilot Grove, Prairie Home, Wooldridge. 65068, 65233, 65237.

Daviess County. Altamount, Coffey, Gallatin, Jameson, Jamesport, Lock Springs, Pattonsburg, Winston. 64620, 64636, 64640, 64647, 64648, 64654, 64670, 64689.

De Kalb County. Amity, Clarksdale, Fairport, Hemple, Maysville, Osborn, Stewartsville, Union Star, Weatherby. 64422, 64430, 64447, 64469, 64474, 64490, 64494, 64497.

Gentry County. Albany, Darlington, Gentry, King City, McFall, Stanberry. 64402, 64438, 64453, 64463, 64489, 64657.

Grundy County. Galt, Laredo, Spickard, Trenton. 64641, 64652, 64679, 64683.

Harrison County. Bethany, Blythedale, Brimson, Cainsville, Eagleville, Gilman City, Hatfield, Martinsville, Mount Moriah, New Hampton, Ridgeway. 64424, 64426, 64442, 64458, 64467, 64471, 64481, 64632, 64642.

Henry County. Blairstown, Calhoun, Clinton, Creighton, Deepwater, Montrose, Tightwad, Urich, Windsor. 64726, 64735, 64739, 64740, 64770, 64788, 65323, 65360.

Holt County. Bigelow, Corning, Craig, Fortescue. 64437.

Howard County. Armstrong, Fayette, Franklin, Glasgow, New Franklin. 65230, 65248, 65250, 65254, 65274.

Johnson County. Centerview, Holden, Warrensburg, Chilhowee, Kingsville, Leeton, Whiteman Air Force Base, Knob Noster. 64019, 64040, 64061, 64093, 64733, 64761, 65305, 65336.

Lafayette County. Alma, Bates City, Concordia, Corder, Dover, Higginsville, Lexington, Mayview, Napoleon, Odessa, Waverly, Wellington. 64001, 64011, 64020, 64021, 64022, 64037, 64067, 64071, 64074, 64076, 64096, 64097.

Linn County. Brookfield, Browning, Buckin, Laclede, Linneus, Marceline, Meadville, New Boston, Purdin, St. Catherine. 63557, 64628, 64630, 64631, 64653, 64658, 64659, 64674.

Livingston County. Avalon, Chillicothe, Chula, Dawn, Ludlow, Mooresville, Utica, Wheeling. 64601, 64635, 64638, 64656, 64664, 64686, 64688. Macon County. Anabel, Atlanta, Bevier, Callao, Elmer, Ethel, Excello, La Plata, Macon, New Cambria. 63431, 63530, 63532, 63534, 63538, 63539, 63549, 63552, 63558, 65247.

Mercer County. Mercer, Princeton. 64661, 64673.

Pettis County. Green Ridge, Houstonia, Hughesville, La Monte, Mora, Sedalia, Smithton. 65301, 65302, 65332, 65333, 65334, 65337, 65345, 65350.

Putnam County. Livonia, Lucerne, Powersville, Unionville, Worthington. 63551, 63565, 63567, 64655, 64672.

Saline County. Arrow Rock, Blackburn, Gilliam, Grand Pass, Malta Bend, Marshall, Napton, Miami, Nelson, Slater, Sweet Springs. 65320, 65321, 65330, 65339, 65340, 65344, 65347, 65349, 65351.

Sullivan County. Green Castle, Green City, Harris, Humphreys, Milan, Newton, Pollock, Winigan. 63544, 63545, 63556, 63560, 63566, 64645, 64646, 64667.

Worth County. Allendale, Denver, Grant City, Sheridan, Worth.

Websites:

http://Missouri-dui-dwi-defense.com;

http://www.drunkdrivingdefense.com (Missouri Affiliate);

http://www.dui-dwi.com (Missouri Affiliate);

http://www.guilfoillawgroup.com.

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