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.
If you were charged with a DWI in MO,
contact our Springfield criminal defense attorney at
Worsham Law Firm and request a
free case evaluation today.