If you or a loved one is facing DWI charges in Kansas City, Missouri, you are going to be dealing with criminal law and administrative law concerning your driver’s license being revoked or suspended. Criminal law will address the ticket that you receive. A conviction will result in points against your driving record, which may result in getting your driver’s license revoked or suspended, depending on the points. Outside of the criminal courts, you also have to worry about the administrative law concerns, which may cause your license to be automatically suspended or revoked based on the results of your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. The key difference here is that the administrative law portion of the situation is automatic and will not be based on what happens in the criminal portion, regardless of whether or not you are convicted or whether you plead to a lesser charge.
What You Need to Know About Drug and Alcohol Convictions in Kansas City, Missouri
Any time you are convicted of a traffic crime involving alcohol or drug use, you can expect to have points added to your driver’s license, potentially losing your driving privileges. There are excessive BAC convictions, driving while intoxicated (DWI) convictions, and driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) convictions. For the first conviction in any of these categories, you will have your license suspended for 90 days, though you may be able to get restricted driving privileges (RDP).
For your second or further convictions of any of these offenses, you will have enough points added to your license to result in it being revoked for one year. You can also have your license denied for five years for multiple drug and alcohol convictions. After your third conviction, your license will be denied for ten years each time you are convicted of another drug or alcohol related traffic offense.
What You Need to Know About the Administrative Consequences of a DWI in Kansas City, MO
While you are facing these criminal consequences, you also have to deal with the administrative consequences. Again, these are not influenced by whether or not you are convicted, but are automatic consequences. In cases where it is a minor, a BAC that is at least .02% will result in administrative consequences. For adults, the limit is .08%, unless you are a commercial driver, in which case it is .04%.
It is the Department of Revenue that receives the information from the arresting officer, including an Alcohol Influence Report (AIR) and in some cases, a Missouri Uniform Complaint and Summons. They may also take your license and send it in with a Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privilege form. If they take your license, then they will also create a temporary 15-Day permit.
The Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privilege is how the administrative hearing is requested and then scheduled by the Department of Revenue. Your hearing may take place over phone or you may have to go in person. Usually, the arresting officer will not have to testify, because their records are enough to prove that you had a BAC that was greater than the limit.
Depending on your history of traffic offenses related to drugs or alcohol within the past five years, your license may be suspended for 90 days or revoked for one to ten years. If your license is suspended, then you can request restricted driving privileges. If your license is revoked, then you may request limited driving privileges. In any event your suspended or revoked license will go into effect fifteen days from your arrest or from the hearing decision. You do have the option of petitioning for further review from the courts, but you will not be able to drive unless and until a decision is reached in your favor.
What Happens if You Refuse to Take a Drug or Alcohol Test in Kansas City, Missouri?
Because Missouri has an implied consent law, you cannot refuse to submit to a drug or alcohol test without having your driver’s license revoked for a year. This is also an administrative consequence that is not related to whether or not you are convicted of the crime. The arresting officer will simply fill out the Alcohol Influence Report form with the information related to your refusal, take your driver’s license, and provide you with the fifteen day driving permit.
Drug and Alcohol Offenses by Minors in Kansas City, Missouri
In cases where the offender is a minor (under 21 years old) who is found to be in possession of or intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, the minor’s driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days for a first offense and one year for a second offense. These offenses include anything related to intoxication while driving or being in possession of alcohol while driving. It also includes any offense related to possessing drugs or being intoxicated by drugs, even if you are not driving at the time. If the minor is convicted in criminal court of a traffic related drug or alcohol offense, then they will have two points added to their driving record, which can add up to lead to the license being suspended or revoked for longer periods.
In other cases, the driver’s license can be revoked or suspended by the criminal courts as a consequence of purchasing or possessing alcohol as a minor, being obviously visibly intoxicated, or having a BAC of .020% or higher. In cases where the offense is simple possession by a minor, you may face a 30 day suspension for the first offense, a 90 day suspension for the second offense, and a one year revocation for any further offenses.
What to Do When You Are Facing a DWI or Other Drug or Alcohol Charges in Kansas City, Missouri
If you are facing DWI charges or any other charges related to drugs or alcohol in Kansas City, Missouri, you need legal advice and representation. The skilled DWI attorneys in Kansas City, Missouri at Hollingshead & Dudley Trial Lawyers are here to help you get the best possible outcome. Call today for more information.