What Are Missouri’s DUI Laws?

Don’t Drink and Drive

It can be very easy to assume the common phrase “don’t drink and drive” applies throughout the country. While this is true, understanding the different aspects of state law, including the specifics as well as potential punishments, is important, especially if you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Here is what you should know about Missouri’s DUI laws.

Definition of Intoxication

Missouri’s laws for driving while intoxicated (DWI) prohibit anyone from physically controlling a motor vehicle while in a state of intoxication, which means a state of being caused by a combination of drugs and alcohol that prevents a person from using their full motor skills. Missouri law also prohibits driving if a person’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) measures at .08% or higher.

Based on this definition, someone could technically get arrested for DWI without driving the vehicle. A person could be in a position to begin driving and could face this charge.

Getting Charged

To be charged with DWI, the police must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over and begin determining if you are driving while intoxicated. If you are driving in a way that is unsafe, such as randomly swerving in and out of different lanes of traffic, then you could be pulled over.

Missouri operates under an “implied consent” law. This means that operating a motor vehicle and being investigated for DWI implies consent to have your BAC tested via a chemical test, such as a blood test or breath test. Refusing to provide this could lead to suspension of your drivers’ license.

Penalties for DWI

The penalties for DWI depend on how many charges you have faced previously as well as the circumstances of the case. In general, however, there could be a combination of jail time, fines, and license suspension. Some may also have to install an interlock ignition device on their vehicle which requires them to breathe into the machine in order to drive their vehicle.

Defend Your Rights in Court

If you’ve been charged with DWI, whether it’s your first charge or otherwise, it is important to have a defense attorney to defend your rights. At Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices, we know facing charges can be scary, which is why we’re here to help.


To set up a consultation with our Missouri DWI attorneys, call us at (573) 279-1349 or visit us online.

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