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Driving under the influence distinctions in Missouri

Most people do not intentionally set out to hurt others. However, when people choose to drive under the influence, they put others in danger, as well as themselves.

For this reason, law enforcement is diligent about charging offenders with a DWI. With the different kinds of charges for driving under the influence, it can be confusing. Here are the main terms you may hear and how they may apply in your situation.

DWI - Driving While Intoxicated

By definition, driving while intoxicated is driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit. Depending upon your blood alcohol level, the DWI may be processed administratively, or administratively and criminally. First-time offenses may bare a license suspension of 90 days to one year, as well as a fine and possible jail time. In some cases, the judge may require that a party install an ignition interlock device as part of the condition of receiving restricted driving privileges. This device prevents the car from starting if the driver's BAC is above an acceptable level.

DUI - Driving Under the Influence

In many cases, driving under the influence is viewed as similar to, if not the same as, driving while intoxicated. In the state of Missouri, police officers tend to assess DWI charges. As such, the same BAC restrictions apply. It is important to note that while a BAC of .08 is the limit for adults, minors with a BAC of only .02 may face charges.

DUID - Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Along with alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs can be quite dangerous and is another serious offense. Considering that the offense can create the same type of dangerous situation as a DWI, the penalties are quite similar, with a possible license suspension, fines and jail time, depending upon the severity of the offense.

If you or a loved one face any of these charges, fully understanding the charge can help determine the best course of action. Take time to understand the charge, and consider consulting with an attorney.

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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