Experienced DUI/DWI Attorneys in St. Louis, Missouri with over 30 Years of Practice
If you have been charged with a DWI or DUI in St. Louis or St. Charles County, it is important to hire a lawyer to help you navigate the legal system. Having an experienced lawyer can help you avoid serious consequences and protect your rights.
A DWI has criminal and collateral consequences, meaning that it could go on your criminal record and also affect other parts of your life including your driving privileges, your insurance, and even your work.
- What Is a DWI?
- Different Types of DWI Offenses
- 10 Steps To a DWI Arrest
- DWI and Insurance Rates
- The Difference Between DUI, OWI, and a DWI?
- Why DWI or DUI Cases Get Dismissed
- DWI as a Felony?
- Does a DWI Conviction Count as a Criminal Offense?
- How Long After Smoking Marijuana Can I Drive?
- Is It Possible To Beat a Breathalyzer Test?
- Should I Blow?
- Penalties for a DUI / DWI
- Possession of a Firearm While Getting a DWI
- Contact a DUI / DWI Lawyer
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
DWI is an acronym which stands for Driving While Intoxicated. In Missouri, a person commits the offense of driving while intoxicated if he or she operates a vehicle while in an intoxicated condition. “Driving” means physically driving or operating a vehicle or vessel and the term “intoxicated” simply means when the person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or drug, or any combination thereof. Thus, a person may be convicted of a DWI in St. Louis or St. Charles county if they are physically driving or operating a vehicle or vessel while the person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or drug, or any combination thereof.
In Missouri, there is a separate DWI related charge called:
Driving with excessive blood alcohol content.
If you are facing an arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or another alcohol-related offense, it is important to understand the legal limits of alcohol.
As a criminal defense lawyer, I can tell you that each state has different laws and regulations regarding DWI, DUI, and OWI. In Missouri, a person is considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol content (BAC) reaches 0.08%.
If an individual’s BAC goes above this limit, they may be charged with DWI or another offense related to impaired driving. It is also important to note that certain groups like commercial drivers or those under 21 years old may have stricter standards than other individuals due to their special status within society.
For example, Missouri requires commercial drivers to maintain a BAC below 0.04%, whereas individuals aged 21-24 must remain below 0.02%.
What Are the Different Types of DWI Offenses?
In Missouri there are two primary DWI-related offenses. Driving While Intoxicated and Driving with excessive blood alcohol content. There are levels of severity depending upon a variety of circumstances. The most common circumstances which create a different level of DWI are as follows:
2nd DWI or minor in the vehicle.
Class A Misdemeanor
3rd DWI or causes injury to another person.
Class E Felony
4th DWI or causes injury to a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel, or causes serious injury.
Class D Felony
5th DWI or serious injury to law enforcement or emergency personnel, causes death to another person.
Class C Felony
6th DWI or death to a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel. Death to an individual by leaving the highway.
Class B Felony.
10 Steps of a DWI Arrest
DWI and Insurance Rates
Auto insurance companies take into account many factors when determining how much to charge for coverage, including your driving record. A DWI will show up as a major violation in your motor vehicle report (MVR) and is likely to result in significantly higher premiums. In some cases, insurers may even deny coverage altogether or cancel existing policies after learning of the conviction.
It’s important to note that these penalties don’t just apply in the short term; they can stay with you for years after the incident occurred. Even if you are able to find another insurer willing to cover you at an increased rate, most companies will continue to raise your premium each year until they feel comfortable enough with your driving history again—which could take many years.
Not only do these higher rates make it difficult for people convicted of a DWI offense to keep their vehicles insured adequately, but they also add significant financial strain during an already stressful time period. For this reason, I advise all of my clients who have been charged with a DWI offense not just to consider their legal options carefully but also to speak with an experienced auto insurance agent about what steps they need to take in order to ensure adequate coverage moving forward without breaking their budget.
The Difference Between DUI, OWI, and a DWI
Typically, a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), and an OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) are different acronyms that amount to the same or a similar description depending on the State or jurisdiction in which the charge is being brought. In Missouri, there is only Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and other related offenses but the terms are often used interchangeably.
Why Do DWI or DUI Cases Get Dismissed?
This is a commonly asked question but is hard to answer because of the variety of ways that could contribute to the dismissal of a DWI Charge in St. Louis or St. Charles County. Perhaps the most obvious reason for the dismissal of a DWI case is lack of evidence. Evidence typically comes from field sobriety tests, blood alcohol or breathalyzer tests issued by police officers. Other reasons include:
- Lack of probable cause (where the officer did not have a legally valid reason to pull someone over)
- A violation of the person’s constitutional rights including the 4th 5th or 6th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
- Were field sobriety tests or blood alcohol or breathalyzer tests properly and validly administered.
There are a variety of factors that can affect a DWI case. It is important to remember that you have a right against self-incrimination. Thus, you do not have to and SHOULD NOT admit to drinking to a police officer at any time when being suspected of a DWI charge. Instead, you should ask to contact a St. Louis DWI lawyer at the Krupp Law Firm.
Is a DWI a Felony?
Does a DWI Conviction Count as a Criminal Offense?
Yes, in Missouri a DWI does count as a criminal offense. A person may be eligible to get a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS) under some circumstances which would help eliminate the conviction from their criminal record, although in all likelihood the conviction would still be used against them in future DWI proceedings. If you are charged with a DWI in St. Louis or St. Charles.
Contact a St. Louis DWI lawyer at the Krupp Law Firm to find out how to best proceed with your case.
How Long After Smoking Marijuana Can I Drive?
Smoking marijuana and driving can lead to a DWI. Nobody should smoke marijuana and then drive as it would put themselves and others in a potentially hazardous situation. With that being said, there is no known limit of time in which marijuana dissipates from one’s system in a way that it can be identified whether someone is intoxicated. It is important to remember that in addition to your level of intoxication both field sobriety tests and your word can be used against you in court. You don’t have to participate in either.
If you find yourself in a sticky situation involving a potential DWI based on marijuana consumption you should contact a St. Louis DWI lawyer at Krupp Law Firm for advice.
Is It Possible To Beat a Breathalyzer Test?
Yes, oftentimes the best possible way to beat a breathalyzer test is by not taking one but that will likely come with consequences. Preliminary breath tests administered before an arrest are typically classified as inadmissible to show intoxication but admissible to show probable cause. Even if they aren’t so reliable, a well-calibrated and properly administered breath test administered post-arrest by machine is considered more reliable and may be used against you at court.
If you find yourself facing down a potential breath test you should contact a St. Louis DWI Lawyer at the Krupp Law Firm.
Should I Blow?
Penalties for a DUI / DWI
From a criminal standpoint, the punishment for a DWI follows the typical scale under Missouri Law but can additional consequences depending on your blood alcohol content at the time you blow in a breathalyzer if you choose to do so. You may also lose your driver’s license privileges. For an overview of criminal consequences see the chart below. To better understand the consequences specific to your case, contact a St. Louis DWI Lawyer at the Krupp Law Firm.
Krupp Law Firm Can Help Your St. Louis DWI / DUI.
The Krupp law firm can help you with your DWI/DUI case in St. Louis or St. Charles County. We are able to analyze the evidence, determining what factors are most important for your case. We provide skillful representation and knowledgeable legal advice from years of experience to ensure that you get the best result in your case. Contact a St. Louis DWI Lawyer at the Krupp Law Firm for a consultation today.