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Missouri treats DWIs by juveniles more strictly than for adults because underage drunk drivers cause more auto accidents than do older people. A blood-alcohol content of as little as .02 percent can lead to a juvenile conviction for DWI in the state, resulting in time in custody, fines and loss of driving privileges.

Missouri law instructs judges to send juvenile convictions for DWI information to the state's Department of Motor Vehicles. A juvenile convicted of any first offense for an alcohol-related traffic violation will result in a suspension of their driver's license for 90 days. A second offense will lead to revocation of the license for one year.

Additional penalties for a first time underage DUI offense include up to six months of imprisonment and a fine up to $500. A second juvenile DUI conviction can lead to up to one year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.

When an underage motorist is charged with a DWI or DUI in Missouri, he or she may benefit by seeking help from a criminal defense attorney. An attorney could identify all relevant facts in order to assert defenses and devise a solid defense strategy to the charges. The state laws treat underage drinking and driving quite seriously. Everyone charged with a criminal offense has certain constitutional rights that an attorney may be able to help ensure are followed. For example, when conducting a traffic stop, a police officer must have a reasonable suspicion that the person he or she stopped had committed or was committing a crime or breaking a traffic law at the time of the stop. If there were problems with the stop, it is sometimes possible to get evidence suppressed and charges dismissed.

Source: Missouri Revised Statute, "Chapter 577 Public Safety Offenses Section 577.500 ", October 31, 2014

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