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Anyone who has experienced a drunk driving prosecution in Missouri may think that the penalties in this state upon a conviction are severe, but according to a recent study the opposite seems to be more the case.

Regardless of its particular ranking, the fact remains that being convicted of drunk driving in Missouri can still lead to significant consequences that extend beyond how many days you might spend in jail and how much you may pay in fines.  A drunk driving conviction on your record can have other negative implications should you be the subject of a background check for any reason. 

The study analyzed the drunk driving laws in all 50 states based on 15 criteria across two categories (prevention and punishment). Specific factors considered included:

  • What, if any minimum jail sentences and minimum fines are meted out to first and second time offenders
  • Whether DUI is automatically considered to be a felony
  • The existence of DUI laws concerning child endangerment
  • Whether the state imposes administrative sanctions including license suspension, vehicle impound and ignition interlock device requirements
  • Whether the state uses DUI sobriety checkpoints

Among its conclusions, the study suggests that Missouri ranks as one of the most "lenient" states in the country for drunk drivers. This was apparently due to the absence of any minimum jail sentence requirements for first and second time offenders.

If you have been charged with drunk driving, rather than relying on a reputation for "leniency" you would be better served speaking with an experienced legal counsel that practices in DUI defense.

Source: Tech Times, "Here Are The Strictest And Most Lenient States On DUI," Rex Macadangdang, June 18, 2015

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