Not surprisingly, the Missouri legislature has once again enacted new DWI laws that went into effect on August 28, 2010. Under the new DWI laws, first-time offenders now face the reality of spending time in jail even if they do not have a history of prior alcohol-related offenses. With the enforcement of Missouri’s new DWI laws, it is more important than ever to seek out a skilled and experienced St. Louis DWI attorney if you have been charged with DWI.
The new Missouri DWI laws increase jail time for repeat DWI offenders and for those with higher blood alcohol levels. Additionally, under the new laws, courts are required to report all DWI cases to a centralized record keeping system to better allow all Missouri courts to track and identify if an offender has prior DWI charges. Also, the new law requires second-time DWI offense cases to be in state court rather than municipal court. Typically, state courts hand out harsher sentences to offenders than municipal courts. The new law will also allow offenders opportunities to participate in a DWI court program as an alternative of spending time in jail. A DWI court program typically provides supervision, drug testing, alcohol-monitoring and treatment to those charged with a DWI offense. However, not all jurisdictions in Missouri have a DWI program established.
In short, the Missouri legislature continues to crack down on those charged with DWI. It is imperative that if you are charged with DWI in Missouri or Illinois, you contact a DWI attorney today. DWI cases are time sensitive and require immediate action to preserve your driving privileges. Please review our DWI page on our website for more comprehensive information or contact our office by calling 314.645.4400 for a free consultation and to discuss your situation.