When an individual is pulled over while driving and there is alcohol or other substances suspected or detected in his or her system, the driver is generally charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated. In many cases, this may be the individual’s first offense and the penalties associated with a first charge will vary from state to state – some states consider a DUI or DWI charge to be a very serious crime while other states only consider the charge to be a slight civil infraction.
Depending on the state in question, the punishment for a first DUI or DWI charge will be handed down by either a judge or determined by the state’s laws. In the state of Missouri, these charges carry penalties of a license suspension of revocation of 30 days for a first offense and one year for subsequent offenses, mandatory alcohol and drug education classes, substance abuse/dependency assessment and possible treatment as well as having to use an ignition interlock device on the vehicle.
Penalties for First Underage DUI Offense in the State of Missouri
Underage individuals account for just about 10 percent of the licensed drivers in the entire country. Keeping this in mind, it is also important to note that underage drivers are also responsible for 17 percent of all the alcohol related fatal car accidents that occur each year. When it comes to underage DUI offenses, the penalties for these charges will also vary from one state to the next and will usually include some type of fine, license suspension. and possible jail time.
The legal drinking age in Missouri is 21 and there are no exceptions to this law, meaning that under no circumstances should an individual under the age of 21 be consuming alcohol. Since underage drivers account for a disproportionate amount of the fatal alcohol related car accidents in the country, the state of Missouri takes these offenses very seriously. In most cases, the penalties for underage DUI or DWI are much stricter than first offenses of the same crime in of age drivers.
A first underage DUI or DWI offense in the state of Missouri will carry the penalties of up to six months in jail, a license suspension between 30 and 90 days and payment of a fine up to $500. If the same individual is charged with another underage DUI or DWI within five years of their first offense, they will then face stricter penalties including up to one year in jail, license suspension for up to one year, and payment of a fine that could be up to $1000.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.