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What Is A 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.”
A person commits the offense of driving with excessive blood alcohol content when they operate a vehicle while having eight-hundredths of one percent or more by weight in his or her blood (.08), or operates a commercial motor vehicle while having four one-hundredths of one percent or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood (.04).
What Is The Difference Between DUI, OWI, and a DWI?
Typically, a DWI a DUI, and an OWI 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.
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:
1st DWI– B Misdemeanor
Prior offender(2nd DWI) or minor in the vehicle – A Misdemeanor
- Persistent offender (3rd DWI) or causes injury to another person – E Felony
- Aggravated offender (4th DWI) or causes injury to law enforcement officer or emergency personnel, or causes serious injury – D Felony
- Chronic offender (5th DWI) serious injury to law enforcement or emergency personnel, causes death to another person. – C Felony
- Habitual offender (6th DWI) death to a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel. Death to an individual by leaving the highway. – B Felony.
- There are other circumstances that could lead to a B Felony and even an A-level Felony. Most DWI related charges which involve the death of another may come with homicide charge implications.
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?
In Missouri a first-time DWI charge is rarely a felony, but as described in the What are the different types of DWI offenses? There are several circumstances that could lead to a felony including multiple DWI offenses most commonly where the person has had multiple DWI convictions or got in an accident in which someone is injured.
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?
This is one of the most common and most complicated questions in DWI Law. In Missouri, a DWI situation comes with two aspects the criminal side and the driver's license side (DOR). If you refuse to blow your license will be revoked automatically and you will have 30 days from the time of the refusal to file a petition for review. However, if you refuse to take a breath test it could be better for your criminal case. The best you think can do is use your right to contact a St. Louis DWI lawyer at the Krupp Law Firm.
What Is The Punishment For A 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.
How The 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.