IMPACT OF DWI CHARGES ON YOUR DRIVING PRIVILEGE
Posted: June 22, 2017
According to Missouri Law, a criminal charge of DWI or excessive BAC often results in additional civil penalties, such as the suspension or revocation of the offender’s driver’s license. In the event of a DWI arrest in which BAC testing results in a .08% or higher, the arresting officer can seize the offender’s license and issue a notice of suspension.
This notice provides a 15-day grace period before the suspension or revocation takes effect. In order to avoid license suspension or revocation, an offender must request an administrative license hearing within 15 days of the arrest/issuance of the suspension notice.
Failure to request a hearing in a timely manner will make an offender ineligible to contest the suspension. It is imperative to understand that the administrative hearing request is separate from any criminal proceedings.
REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSE SUSPENSION IN MISSOURI
To suspend a DWI offender’s driver’s license, the Department of Revenue must prove its case by the preponderance of the evidence. Proof by the preponderance of the evidence means proof that something is more likely to have occurred than not – greater than 50% chance that an incident occurred.
The Department of Revenue must prove the following elements in order to issue a license suspension or revocation:
- The individual was placed under arrest
- There was probable cause that the person was intoxicated
- There is a breath or blood test resulting in a BAC of .08% or higher
If the Department of Revenue determines that all three elements mentioned above are proven by the preponderance of the evidence, then a license suspension will be issued. The length of the suspension is generally determined by the offender’s prior driving record.
A first alcohol-related suspension will be for 90 days. If the offender has any prior alcohol-related suspensions, a one-year license revocation will be issued rather than the 90-day suspension. Remember, if the criminal case results in a DWI conviction, and such person has prior convictions for DWI or excessive BAC, this administrative revocation can be increased to a maximum 10-year revocation.
However, those who face license suspension for an alcohol-related offense may be eligible for a restricted license or limited driving privilege with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.