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A woman from St. Ann pleaded guilty to her fifth driving while intoxicated charge on the week of Dec. 18. The woman had previously been convicted of driving while intoxicated twice in St. Charles County and twice in St. Louis County.

The charges stemmed from an incident in which Overland police stopped the woman in the early hours of the morning. The officer initiated the stop in the 2300 block of Burns Avenue after observing the woman speeding. Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer noted that the woman smelled of alcohol, that she had bloodshot eyes and that her speech was slurred. When asked, the woman refused to submit to a breath test. The officer obtained a warrant, and the woman's blood alcohol content was measured at .12 percent.

Following being detained, the woman pleaded guilty to the chronic offender DWI charge and was scheduled to be sentenced in the coming weeks. She has already served jail time for her DWI offenses in the past.

Penalties for driving while intoxicated can be particularly severe in Missouri, especially if the person charged is a repeat offender. Those convicted of a DWI can face substantial fines, suspension or revocation of driving privileges and, in extreme cases, jail time. The likelihood of receiving jail time increases when other aggravating circumstances are present, including multiple offenses, drunk driving that resulted in an accident and previous incidents of driving while intoxicated. A DWI defense attorney may help guide those who have been charged with such offenses through the process. They may also help the accused reduce the charges, minimize penalties and potentially avoid conviction.

Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch, "St. Ann woman pleads guilty to fifth DWI", Robert Patrick, December 18, 2013

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