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DUI Insurance Laws for Missouri

Here's what you should know...
  • Missouri refers to any conviction of driving under the influence as a DWI.
  • The BAC level to be classified as a drunk driver is 0.8 percent for persons over age 21.
  • Those under the age of 21 caught driving while intoxicated could lose their licenses.

If you have run into trouble with DUI, or driving under the influence, in Missouri, you must find an automobile insurance company that is willing to insure you before you can get your license back. It is helpful to compare car insurance rates of several companies, so you can get the best deal.

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Missouri Information

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Missouri became a state on August 10, 1821. It encompasses 69,709 square miles and borders Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

The state nickname for Missouri is the “Show Me State.” The state is best known for being the birthplace of President Harry Truman and for the magnificent Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

The state speed limit on freeways is 70 miles per hour. Missouri has a zero-tolerance policy for those who exceed the speed limit. Drivers going faster than 90 miles per hour can also be cited for reckless driving.

Missouri operates on the point system for driving privileges. Drivers earn “points” whenever they violate any traffic laws. Speeding is worth three points. Drivers who receive eight points within an 18-month timeframe will have their licenses suspended for 30 days.

Missouri DUI Requirements

Any person under the age of 21 will be cited for driving under the influence if

  • He or she buys or attempts to buy alcoholic beverages
  • He or she is found to be in possession of alcoholic beverages
  • His or her Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC, is above .02

Any person over the age of 21 will be cited for driving under the influence if his or her BAC equals or exceeds .08.

Missouri DUI Laws

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Missouri actually has two statutes that relate to driving under the influence. The first says that a person shall not operate a motor vehicle “while intoxicated or in a drugged state.” It is illegal to drive with any amount of a controlled substance, such as heroin or marijuana in one’s system. The second defines intoxication as a BAC of .08 or over.

When referring to these laws, the Missouri courts call the offense DWI or “driving while intoxicated”.

Missouri is an “implied consent” state, meaning that, if you operate a vehicle on public roads, you have implicitly given permission to have your breath, blood, saliva or urine tested for alcohol or illegal substances at the request of the police.

Those who refuse to provide a sample can expect to have their license’s suspended for a year.

The first two DUI/DWI offenses in Missouri are generally treated as misdemeanors. The third and all subsequent conditions are viewed as felonies.

Missouri is one of more than forty states that have joined the “Driver’s License Compact.” This means that if you live in Missouri, but are convicted of a DUI offense in another state, Missouri DMV will suspend your license when the state learns of your conviction.

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Missouri DUI Penalties

The Missouri DWI penalties vary depending on offenses.

First Offense Penalties:

  • Up to six months in jail
  • Up to a $500 fine
  • 30 days full suspension of license
  • 60 days restricted license (after the first 30 days are up)
  • $45 License Reinstatement fee
  • Missouri SR22 Insurance (proof of the minimum accepted amount of liability insurance)
  • Possibly ordered by court to install an ignition interlock device

Second Offense Penalties:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Up to $1000 fine
  • Driver’s license suspended for one year. The driver’s license may be suspended for five years if the previous DUI offense took place less than five years ago.
  • Installment of ignition interlock device required
  • Missouri SR22 Insurance
  • $45 License Reinstatement Fee

Third Offense Penalties:

  • Driver is charged with a felony
  • Up to four years in jail
  • Up to $5000 fine
  • Driver’s license suspended for up to ten years
  • Installment of ignition interlock device required
  • Missouri SR22 Insurance
  • $45 License Reinstatement Fee

Missouri DUI Statistics

According to the Century Council, in 2009 there were 300 substance-related driving fatalities in Missouri. Thirteen percent of the alcohol- or drug-impaired were under the age of 21. Seventy-two percent of the people involved in fatalities were known as “hardcore” offenders and had a BAC of .15 or above – nearly twice the legal limit.

Missouri also reported 33,020 arrests for DWI/DUI in the year 2009.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving claims that only one out of 88 intoxicated drivers will actually be stopped and arrested. This makes the probable total of people who actually drove under the influence in Missouri much higher.

Nationwide, 10,839 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in the year 2009.

Missouri DUI Insurance Options

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After a first DUI/DWI offense in Missouri, a driver is required to do three things to get his or her license back.

  1. Pay a $45 License Reinstatement fee
  2. Attend a Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program, or SATOP, at a cost of $190
  3. Provide the DMV with an SR22 Insurance Certificate and carry SR22 coverage for at least three years. The SR22 Certificate proves that the driver carries at least the minimum required amount of liability insurance.

The third step can be a stumbling block for drivers who have been convicted of DWI. Their auto insurance rates are likely to skyrocket. Worse, not all companies offer SR-22 coverage.

With so much money at stake, it makes good sense for drivers to go to websites that will allow them to compare state car insurance rates among companies that offer SR22 coverage. When drivers take the time to compare car insurance quotes, they can make sure that they are paying the lowest premiums possible, and that they are getting the coverage the law requires them to have.

Additional Missouri DUI Information

If you are stopped under suspicion of driving while intoxicated, and you refuse to take a chemical test, or if your chemical test comes back showing a BAC of .08 or higher, the arresting officer will immediately take your license and give you a 15-day driving permit. That means you have 15 days to respond to the allegations against you.

That means you have 15 days to go to court, enter a plea, and ask for an extension of your temporary license while the court case is ongoing. Because of the legal complexities involved, many people arrested for DUI retain an attorney to help them deal with the court case. Compare Missouri rates for car insurance  for FREE by entering your ZIP into our comparison tool!

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