There are several indications an officer might use to stop you for a potential Driving While Intoxicated or DWI charge in Kansas City. Failure to maintain lane, forgetting basic procedures like using turn signals, or failing to stop at a stop sign are all strong indications a driver is impaired. If a police officer notices these signs, he or she may decide to stop your vehicle.
During a traffic stop, there are a few steps police officers are required to follow. Those include a field sobriety test, where you will be asked to step out of the vehicle and perform a set of tests based on their directions. Next, they will request that you blow into a device called a breathalyzer. If the breathalyzer indicates that your blood alcohol content, or BAC, is higher than .08%, then you will be facing charges of DWI or BAC – the charges related to DUI in Missouri.
Anyone who is found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be charged with DWI or BAC. This individual can face fines, jail time and even loss of license. It is important to understand options and potential sentences as they relate to your specific situation. Therefore, an honest conversation with a Kansas City DWI lawyer is in order so you can have a better idea of how to handle the upcoming court proceedings.
Can I Refuse to Take the Test?
The Missouri Department of Revenue states that Missouri has an implied consent law. This requires you to submit to the test for alcohol or drug impairment when an officer of the state requests that you participate. In the instance that you refuse the test, driving privileges in the state are automatically revoked for one year. The refusal is typically noted during the arrest. If notice of revocation is not made at that time, it will be made via mail by the Missouri Department of Revenue.
A review of the revocation can be requested. If it is denied, the suspension must be served, and all criteria met before the individual is considered for reinstatement of driving privileges. In the event that the revocation order is overturned, the license may be returned to the individual if no other criteria need to be met prior to reinstatement. Discuss options with legal counsel in order to find out if you have a chance of getting your license reinstated quickly.
Could I Lose My License If I Take the Breathalyzer?
A first offense for DWI results in a 90-day suspension of your state driver’s license. The first 30 days have to be served. However, after that period has passed, an application for a 60-day permit for Restricted Driving Privileges can be submitted. If granted, this allows an individual to drive to specific activities, such as work or school. Following the 90-day period, full reinstatement can occur if all criteria are met.
For a second offense, the suspension can be one year or up to five years. For a third DWI offense, the license suspension can last for 10 years.
The timing of these charges is also relevant to the length of time you can lose your license. For example, if you have two convictions for DWI within a five-year period, you could lose your license for up to five years. If you are convicted three or more times on charges of DWI, then you can lose your license for 10 years.
Will a DWI Conviction Result in Jail Time?
A first-time offense for DWI can lead to a court-mandated program. However, it can also require the individual to spend time in jail. A first offense requires two days in jail, with probation possible following that period. A second offense requires five days in jail before probation is an option.
A first offense carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail, as many as eight points on your license and the possibility of up to $1,200 in fines and an interlock device in your car for up to seven months.
When Should I Call a Lawyer about DWI Charges?
Individuals facing DWI charges need to get in touch with a reliable and experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Certain procedures need to be followed, and deadlines met to insure a smoother court appearance. When it does reach the specified date for the court case to be heard, experienced legal counsel can make the difference in reaching a deal that cuts down on jail time and fines.
Experienced lawyers can also help with the complex navigation and comprehension of the DWI charges and the process that legal matters follow from an initial stop until the sentence has been served. Legal counsel that regularly handle this type of case can share similarities they see and regular facts about court proceedings for DWI.
What Happens If I Am Under 21 and Have Had Alcohol?
If you are under the age of 21, it is important to know that you can be charged with DWI if you have any trace of alcohol in your system. The requirement of .08% is for adults who are over the age of 21 and legally able to enjoy alcohol. Those under the age of 21 should not have any trace of alcohol in their system.
For someone under 21 who does have alcohol traces, the charges are one part of the process. A 30-day suspension of the individual’s license is part of the sentence for the first charge of Minor in Possession. This charge occurs when a minor is found with alcohol in his or her possession, attempts to purchase alcohol, is visibly intoxicated or has a BAC of more than .20.
The second instance of charges related to DWI leads to a 90-day license suspension and this suspension and beyond leads to a one-year license revocation.
Schedule a Consultation with a DWI Defense Attorney
Call the Kansas City office of Hollingshead and Dudley today at 816-224-9500 to arrange a visit to the Blue Springs location.