Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

When an individual is stopped/arrested upon probable cause that they were driving a vehicle while their blood alcohol level was over the legal limit, two separate sections of Missouri law govern the arrest and suspension/revocation of the driving privilege:

Criminal Alcohol Law
This law deals with the ticket that was issued.  If an individual is convicted of an alcohol offense, the court sends a copy of the conviction to the department, and the proper points are assessed to the individual’s driving record.  Subsequently, an individual's driving privilege may be suspended or revoked for accumulation of points.
Administrative Alcohol Law
This law initiates a suspension or revocation of the driving privilege if an individual's blood alcohol content level is over the legal limit.  This is an automatic suspension/revocation (unless appealed and won through the Administrative Hearing or Trial DeNovo process) even if the ticket was disposed of in court or reduced to a lesser charge.

Various Types of Alcohol Actions:

Related Frequently Asked Questions:

Information 24/7 – If you have questions about a ticket, suspension, or revocation on your Missouri driver record, you may now call our new interactive voice response system at (573) 526-2407 - available 24 hours a day, 7days a week.


Alcohol Convictions

Statutory References: 302.302, 577.010, and 577.012, RSMo

Points are added to a driver's record for an alcohol- or drug-related traffic conviction. See below for the number of points assessed and more information on First and Multiple Convictions.

First Convictions

  1. First conviction for excessive blood alcohol content (BAC)
  2. First conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence of drugs (DUID)
  3. Commercial motor vehicle .04%

A first-time DWI, DUID, or BAC conviction results in a 90-day suspension. After 30 days of the suspension, the driver may receive a 60-day Restricted Driving Privilege (RDP). The driver is eligible for full reinstatement after 90 days if all reinstatement requirements are met. A person convicted of operating a commercial motor vehicle while his or her alcohol content is .04% will be assessed 2 points and disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for one year.

Multiple Convictions

A driver convicted of a second alcohol- or drug-related offense, regardless of the length of time between convictions, will normally receive a 1-year revocation for accumulation of points. A driver convicted a second time for an alcohol- or drug-related offense within a five-year period may also receive a 5-year license denial. At the end of the five-year period, the driver must petition the circuit court in the county where the last alcohol-or drug-related driving conviction occurred to obtain an order of reinstatement. As part of that process, the driver must register with the Missouri Automated Criminal History Site (MACHS) for a Criminal History Check.

A driver convicted three or more times for an alcohol- or drug-related offense will receive a 10-year license denial. At the end of the ten-year period, the driver must petition the circuit court in the county where the last alcohol- or drug-related driving conviction occurred to obtain an order of reinstatement. As part of that process, the driver must register with the Missouri Automated Criminal History Site (MACHS) for a Criminal History Check.

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Administrative Alcohol Arrests

Statutory References: 302.500 through 302.540

A person arrested for driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher is processed administratively as well as criminally. Minors arrested or stopped with .020% or more blood alcohol content are also subject to the administrative sanctions under section 302.500 through 302.540.

The arresting officer completes and sends information to the Department of Revenue, including the following.

  1. Alcohol Influence Report form (AIR).
  2. Missouri Uniform Complaint and Summons, or warrant, if applicable.
  3. Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privilege and Temporary 15-Day Driving Permit (this will only be issued if the individual's license is taken).
  4. Missouri Driver License, if secured.

Hearing Process

The driver has 15 days from the date their Notice of Suspension/Revocation is issued to request an administrative hearing. If requested, a hearing is scheduled by the Department of Revenue (in-person or may be held by telephone). In most cases, the administrative records are sufficient to serve as the arresting officer's testimony during the administrative hearing. In some instances, however, the arresting officer may be subpoenaed to appear.

Click here for a list of regional in-person hearing locations.

If you need to request a continuance of a scheduled hearing, please call (573) 751-2580 and request to speak to our Administrative Hearings staff.

Suspension/Revocation

If the action is upheld, the driver license is suspended or revoked based on the prior five-year driver record. If convicted or suspended during the past five years for an alcohol-related law enforcement contact, the person is revoked for one year, and if not, a 90-day suspension is imposed. After serving the first 30 days of the suspension, the driver may be eligible for a 60-day restricted driving privilege. The effective date of the suspension or revocation is 15 days after the final order of the hearing officer is mailed from the Department of Revenue.

If the driver does not request a hearing, a suspension or revocation begins on the 15th day after the arrest, and is final.

If the suspension/revocation is upheld at the administrative hearing, the individual can petition the circuit court for further review. The suspension or revocation is still imposed even though a circuit court review is pending. If the court upholds the arrest, the driver serves any remaining time for the original suspension or revocation period and must meet the reinstatement requirements. If the court overturns the arrest, the suspension or revocation is canceled and the license is returned, if applicable.

For reinstatement requirements, click here.

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Alcohol/Drug Test Refusals

Statutory Reference: 577.041

Missouri's implied consent law requires a driver to submit to an alcohol and/or drug test when requested by a law enforcement officer. If the driver refuses to submit to the test, the license is revoked for one year.

Initial notice of the refusal should be served by the arresting officer. The officer completes and sends information to the Department of Revenue utilizing an Alcohol Influence Report form. The arresting officer will take possession of any valid Missouri driver license the driver has in his or her possession and issue a 15-day permit, if applicable. Any continued driving beyond the initial 15-day period must be pursuant to a court issued stay order. The stay order will temporarily suspend the revocation until the case is settled.

If the court upholds the arrest, the driver serves any remaining time for the original revocation period and must meet the reinstatement requirements. If the court overturns the arrest, the revocation is canceled and the license is returned, if applicable.

For reinstatement requirements, click here.

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Reinstatement Requirements for Alcohol Convictions, Administrative Alcohol Arrests, and Alcohol/Drug Test Refusals

A person whose driving privilege is suspended/revoked/denied may have his or her driving privilege reinstated after the suspension/revocation/denial period is served if all requirements are filed with the Department of Revenue. If a driver does not satisfy the reinstatement requirements, the driving privilege remains suspended/revoked/denied.

The reinstatement requirements are:

Send the following items to the Driver License Bureau, 301West High Street, Room 470, PO Box 200, Jefferson City, MO 65105-0200, before the suspension/revocation/denial period ends:

  1. Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) completion form or a comparable program form. The Division of Behavioral Health will notify us after you complete the program. If you have questions regarding SATOP completion forms or comparable programs, please contact the Division of Behavioral Health at 573-522-4020 or visit the Division of Behavioral Health website.
  2. A reinstatement fee in the amount of $45. Payments may be accepted by telephone using the following debit/credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. You may also pay in the form of a cashier’s check, money order, or personal check made payable to the Missouri Department of Revenue. Please include your full name, address, date of birth, and driver license number on the payment. The Department of Revenue may electronically resubmit checks returned for insufficient funds.
  3. Proof of financial responsibility, commonly filed as an SR-22. Contact your local insurance company or agent for information regarding this form. You must file and maintain proof of financial responsibility for two years from the date your license suspension or revocation began. If you do not, your driving privilege will be suspended again for the remainder of the two-year period. However, proof of financial responsibility is not required for minors suspended on a first offense under the zero tolerance law.
  4. Proof of installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), if you have more than one alcohol offense, conviction, or alcohol/drug test refusal on your driving record. The installer of the device will notify us after the installation has been completed. This device must be certified by the Missouri Department of Transportation and installed on any vehicle you operate. You must maintain the device for a period of six months from your reinstatement date. Click here for a list of approved ignition interlock devices and installers, or contact Missouri Department of Transportation at 800-801-3588.

Any driver revoked for at least one year is also required to take and pass the complete driver examination and apply for a new license at proper fee.

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Abuse and Lose

Statutory Reference: 577.500 through 577.525

If ordered by the court, anyone under 21 years of age may have his or her driving privilege suspended for 90 days for a first offense or revoked for one year for a subsequent offense for any one of the following reasons:

  1. Any alcohol related traffic offense.
  2. Any offense involving the possession or use of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle.
  3. Any offense involving the possession or use of drugs.
  4. Any offense involving the alteration, modification or misrepresentation of a driver license.
  5. A second offense involving the possession or use of alcohol by someone under 18 years of age.

If ordered by the court, anyone 21 years of age or older may have his or her driving privilege revoked for one year for possession or use of drugs while driving.

The reinstatement requirements are:

  1. Pay a $45 reinstatement fee.
  2. Provide proof of successful completion of a Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) or a comparable program. The Division of Behavioral Health will send this form directly to the department after the program has been completed. Any questions regarding SATOP comparable programs should be directed to a certified SATOP Offender Management Unit or the Division of Behavioral Health at (573) 522-4020.

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Minor in Possession/Other Alcohol Offenses

Statutory References: 311.325 and 577.500

Conviction

Two points are added to a driver's record for a minor in possession traffic conviction. The person must have been operating a motor vehicle.

Court Ordered Suspension/Revocation

If ordered by a state court, any person more than 15 and under 21 years of age may have his or her driving privilege suspended or revoked for any one of the following reasons:

  1. Purchasing or attempting to purchase any intoxicating liquor.
  2. Possessing any intoxicating liquor.
  3. Being visibly intoxicated as defined in section 577.001, RSMo.
  4. Having a blood alcohol content level of more than .020 percent.

The first withdrawal action under the Minor in Possession/Other Alcohol Offenses law shall be for 30 days, the second withdrawal action shall be for 90 days, and the third or subsequent withdrawal action shall be for one year.

The reinstatement requirements are:

  1. Pay a $45 reinstatement fee.
  2. Provide proof of successful completion of a Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) or a comparable program. The Division of Behavioral Health will send this form directly to the department after the program has been completed. Any questions regarding SATOP comparable programs should be directed to a certified SATOP Offender Management Unit or the Division of Behavioral Health at (573) 522-4020.

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Still need help? You can also submit your driver licensing questions to our staff by e-mail. Your e-mail will be forwarded to the appropriate area for reply. Some inquiries can be responded to more quickly than others depending on the issue and amount of time needed for research. Please make sure your computer will accept our e-mail response.