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ALCOHOL & TRAFFIC OFFENSES

Every year, around 41 million Americans receive a traffic ticket. There are a plethora of reasons why individuals receive traffic tickets including, but not limited to the following:

 

  • Driving in high speeds
  • Driving without a license
  • Violating a traffic signal
  • Driving while impaired
  • Driving a vehicle with a burned out headlight
  • Driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or an illegal substance

 

Some of the above are less serious traffic offenses, while others can result in long-term prison time. Don’t battle a traffic violation or DUI and DWI charge alone. You need a St. Louis attorney on your side who is well-versed in the nuances of traffic and car accident cases. You need an attorney who can highlight flaws within the case and use them to your advantage.

 

How can a lawyer benefit you in DWI and DUI cases?

 

In 2017, there were 10,874 people killed in alcohol-impaired- driving crashes, an average of 1 alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 48 minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Rightly so, law enforcement is trained to spot the signs of drunk driving. You will get pulled over and arrested if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit. Upon arrest, you may feel that your hands are tied and there is no recourse for your situation.

 

Hiring a St. Louis attorney from Bruntrager & Billings, ensures your rights are protected. He/she will ask the right questions and will use every tool available to attempt to lower your DUI, DWI or traffic charges or get them dropped. When it comes to challenging the legality of an arrest or the administration of blood-alcohol tests, the trial attorneys at Bruntrager & Billings, have more than 100 years of combined criminal litigation experience.

 

We help clients avoid criminal convictions, jail time and license suspensions. We defend clients who are facing charges that include:

 

  • Vehicular manslaughter
  • Vehicular assault
  • Driver’s license suspension and revocation
  • Limited driving privileges

 

Things to know about DWI and DUI Offenses

 

Legal Limits

 

In Missouri, a driver over the age of 21 whose blood-alcohol content is 0.08 percent or higher may be charged with drunken driving, as may a driver under the age of 21 who is found to have a BAC of 0.02 percent or greater. A driver who refuses to take a breath, blood or urine test may still be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), driving under the influence (DUI) or other alcohol-related offenses.

Two separate cases arise from drunken driving charges and arrests: an administrative case that deals with the issue of whether the driver will lose his or her license and a criminal proceeding that involves charges of DWI or related offenses.

 

Administrative Proceeding

 

Generally, the license of a driver whose BAC is over the legal limit or who refuses to take a breath, blood or urine test may be revoked or suspended beginning 15 days after the arrest unless a hearing is requested. Because of the small window of time in which a driver shall request a hearing and contest the suspension or revocation, it is important to obtain representation quickly after an arrest.

 

Criminal Proceeding

 

As in the administrative process, an individual who has been charged by the state of Missouri with DWI faces a variety of penalties that vary with the individual’s offense history.

 

  • First offense: This is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by a six-month jail sentence, a maximum fine of $500 plus court costs, a 30-day suspension of driving privileges, and a 60-day restricted license period. The court may also order an ignition-interlock device and completion of the Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program, better known as SATOP.
  • Second offense: This is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of as long as one year, a maximum fine of $1,000 plus court costs and a five-year revocation of driving privileges. A driver is not eligible to apply for a hardship license until two years of the revocation period have been completed. The court may also order an ignition-interlock device, treatment programs or attendance at meetings of an alcohol-recovery program.
  • Three or more offenses: A driver with three or more convictions within a 10-year period is deemed a persistent offender and is considered to have committed a class D felony, punishable by as much as five years in prison, a maximum fine of $5,000 plus court costs and a 10-year revocation of driving privileges. If the DWI is a third offense but is not a felony, a hardship license may be applied for after three years of the revocation period have been completed.

Do you need legal help? Contact us now.

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