Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

When an individual is stopped or 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 or revocation of the driving privilege:

Criminal Law
This law deals with the ticket that was issued.  If you are convicted of an alcohol offense, the court sends a copy of the conviction to the department, and the proper points are assessed to your driver record.  As a result of the point assessment, your driving privilege may be suspended or revoked.
Administrative Law
This law imposes a separate suspension or revocation of the driving privilege if your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is over the legal limit or you refuse the BAC test(s).  This is an automatic suspension or revocation, 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- and Drug-Related Convictions

Statutory References: 302.302, 577.010, and 577.012, RSMo

Points are added to a person's Missouri driver record for an alcohol- or drug-related traffic conviction.

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)

A first-time DWI, DUID, or BAC conviction results in a 90-day suspension. You may be eligible for a Restricted Driving Privilege (RDP).

NOTE: If you are convicted of operating a commercial motor vehicle while your alcohol content is .04 percent or higher, 2 points will be assessed to your Missouri driver record and you will be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for one year.

Multiple Convictions

If you are convicted of a second alcohol- or drug-related traffic offense, regardless of the length of time between convictions, you will normally receive a 1-year revocation for accumulation of points. If you are convicted a second time for an alcohol- or drug-related offense within a five-year period, you may also receive a 5-year license denial.

If you are convicted three or more times of an alcohol- or drug-related traffic offense, you will receive a 10-year license denial.

For information about reinstating a Missouri driving privilege, visit our License Reinstatement Requirements web page.

For information about Missouri's point system, visit our Tickets and Points web page.

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Administrative Alcohol Arrests

Statutory References: 302.500 through 302.540, RSMo

If you are arrested for driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher, the offense is processed administratively as well as criminally. Minors arrested or stopped with .020% or higher blood alcohol content are also subject to the administrative sanctions under sections 302.500 through 302.540, RSMo.

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

  1. An Alcohol Influence Report form (AIR).
  2. A Missouri Uniform Complaint and Summons, or warrant, if applicable.
  3. A Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privilege (Form 2385) and Temporary 15-Day Driving Permit (this will only be issued if your driver license is taken).
  4. Your Missouri Driver License, if secured.

Hearing Process

You have 15 days from the date the Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privilege (Form 2385) 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.

A list of Administrative Alcohol Regional In-person Hearing Locations is posted on our website.

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

Your driving privilege is suspended or revoked based on the prior five-year driver record. If convicted or suspended during the past five years for an alcohol- or drug-related traffic offense, your driving privilege is revoked for one year. If not, a 90-day suspension is imposed.

For a suspension, you may be eligible for a Restricted Driving Privilege (RDP).

The effective date of the suspension or revocation is 15 days after the arrest or 15 days after the hearing decision is mailed from the Department of Revenue.

If the suspension or revocation is upheld at the administrative hearing, you may 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, you serve 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 information about reinstating a Missouri driving privilege, visit our License Reinstatement Requirements web page.

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Alcohol/Drug Test Refusals

Statutory Reference: 577.041, RSMo

Missouri's implied consent law requires you to submit to an alcohol and/or drug test when requested by a law enforcement officer. If you refuse to submit to the test, your driving privilege is revoked for one year.

Initial notice of the refusal is typically served by the arresting officer at the time of arrest. If the officer does not serve the notice, the Department of Revenue will do so by mail. 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. You may file a petition for review in the circuit court of the county of arrest. If the court issues a stay order, the driver may continue driving on that stay order 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 information about reinstating a Missouri driving privilege, visit our License Reinstatement Requirements web page.

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Abuse and Lose

Statutory Reference: 577.500 through 577.525, RSMo

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.

For information about reinstating a Missouri driving privilege, visit our License Reinstatement Requirements web page.

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Minor in Possession/Other Alcohol Offenses

Statutory References: 311.325 and 577.500, RSMo

Conviction

Two points are added to your Missouri driver record for a Minor in Possession (MIP) traffic conviction. You must have been operating the 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 Minor in Possession withdrawal action is a 30 day suspension, the second withdrawal action is a 90 day suspension, and the third or subsequent withdrawal action results in a one-year revocation.

For information about reinstating a Missouri driving privilege, visit our License Reinstatement Requirements web page.

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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.