Ever wonder about the underlying mechanics of how Missouri’s DWI laws have been put together? For the answer to that question, you need to look at House Bill 1695 that went into effect August 28, 2010.
The bill changed the laws for repeat alcohol offenders and drivers with high blood-alcohol levels. It also affected how a person qualifies for driving privileges. Other changes included the following:
• Creation of a centralized reporting database that tracks all driving-while-impaired offenses, from arrest to disposition.
• Prevents municipal courts from hearing an intoxication-related case if the offender has two or more “intoxicated-related” offenses, or two or more “alcohol-related” offenses.
• DWI courts were established to facilitate treatment for repeat offenders and drivers with high blood-alcohol levels.
• Establishes criteria for qualifying participants and graduates of a DWI court program to obtain a court-ordered limited driving privilege.
• Prohibits a first alcohol-related driving offense from being expunged from a person’s record if the person has another alcohol-related contact on record, or another alcohol-related action pending.
For more information, here is the link to the Department of Revenue to find out more: http://dor.mo.gov/faq/drivers/dwi.php. The DOR website offers a Q&A section that answers many questions you may have. Here are a few:
Can a DWI Court grant me a limited driving privilege when I participate in or graduate from its program, if I have more than one alcohol-related traffic offense on my record?
Yes. Section 302.309.3(9) now allows a DWI Court to grant a limited driving privilege to a participant or graduate of the program who may otherwise be ineligible for limited driving privilege. If you are granted a limited driving privilege by the DWI Court, the Department of Revenue will update your driving record to show the limited driving privilege.
I’ve heard that if my case is in a DWI Court, and I plead guilty to or am found guilty of a first-time driving while intoxicated offense, and my blood alcohol concentration is .15%, I would not be eligible for a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS) for the alcohol-related traffic offense. Is this true?
No. In a county in which there is a DWI court, you may receive an SIS so long as:
•You are placed on probation for a minimum of two years; and
•You successfully complete the DWI court or court-ordered treatment program.
What will the DWI Court program consist of? The program will combine judicial supervision, drug testing, continuous alcohol monitoring, substance abuse traffic offender program compliance, and treatment.
Is there a fee to participate in a DWI court program? A DWI Court may assess you with any and all necessary costs of your participation.
When is the earliest I can be issued a limited driving privilege if I am a participant in or graduate of the program? You must complete a minimum of 45 days of participation in the program and be approved by the DWI Court.
Am I required to have an SR-22 insurance filing if a DWI Court has issued me a limited driving privilege?
Yes. You are required to maintain an SR-22 insurance filing for the duration of your limited driving privilege.
Am I required to have an ignition interlock device in my car if a DWI Court has issued me a limited driving privilege? Yes, if you have more than one alcohol-related enforcement contact.
If I have a first alcohol-related driving offense on my record that is over 10 years old and now I have a new one pending in court, can I have the old alcohol-related offense expunged from my record? No. The new law prohibits the Department of Revenue from expunging the alcohol-related driving offense from your record because you have another alcohol-related offense pending.