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Missouri DWI / DUI Defense

Missouri law, 577.010 of the Revised Statutes prohibits the operation of a vehicle while in an “intoxicated condition.” Missouri’s statutes use the term “driving while intoxicated” (DWI), but many people still refer to the offense as “driving under the influence” or “DUI.” The two elements of the offense are the act of driving and while intoxicated. To “drive” is to physically operate a vehicle or vessel. An “intoxicated condition” is the condition of being under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or drug, or any combination thereof.8 Thus, a person commits the crime of driving while intoxicated if he or she physically operates a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. State v. Ball, 113 S.W.3d 677 (Mo. Ct. App. S.D. 2003).  Evidence from blood, breath, saliva, or urine analysis that the defendant had .08% or more by weight of alcohol in his blood at the time of the offense is prima facie evidence that the defendant was intoxicated.

The first DWI offense is a class B misdemeanor. Punishment for persons with specified numbers of prior findings of guilt of intoxication-related traffic offenses or where certain aggravating circumstances are proved is then enhanced, beginning with a class A misdemeanor and ending with a class A felony. Not all offense enhancements entail pleading and proof of prior findings of guilt. Some enhancements depend instead on certain punishment enhancing circumstances, such as drunk driving-related homicide or assault, and do not depend on whether the defendant had prior intoxication-related traffic offense. This approach permits prosecutors to charge only the enhanced offense of drunk driving instead of both homicide or assault and drunk driving.

There are both criminal and administrative penalties that are attached to a DWI offense.

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Attorney Thomas Kissell of Kissell Law Group is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has personally handled 1000s of cases all across the State of Missouri. If you, or someone you love is currently facing charges, contact us today!

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