Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed a bill that reforms Missouri’s DWI laws in a number of significant ways. The bill is meant to be tougher on repeat offenders, but also offers more treatment options for alcohol abuse and addiction.
Lots of details at StlToday and other sources. Key among the laws effects are:
- Streamline the paperwork process to more easily prove prior offenses handed down in Missouri municipal courts.
- Moves more DWI cases into district courts
- Establishes DWI-only court dockets for the purpose of offering substance abuse programs and aggressive monitoring as an alternative to jail
- First Offense DWI charges can be expunged after 10 years if no further convictions.
Breath Test Refusal Penalties
- Refusing to submit to a breath test is now a separate criminal offense (Class A misdemeanor). Second Offense Refusal is a Class D Felony.
- Refusal is referred to as an “alcohol-related enforcement contact”. Stays on record for 5 years, even if found not guilty of the DWI.
- No restricted hardship license possible after a breath test refusal.
- Ignition Interlock Device required for license reinstatement
High BAC Penalties
If convicted with a breath test result of over .15% (nearly double the legal limit):
- Penalty increased to Class A Misdemeanor (from Class B)
- 90 day license revocation
Once controversial proposal that we noted before failed to make it into the final legislation. That proposal would have allowed police to draw a blood sample without a warrant to determine if a driver is above the legal limit of .08% for intoxication.
More info on Missouri DWI laws.