I just got arrested for a Missouri DWI. What happens next?


The Missouri Implied Consent Proceeding:  Under Missouri’s implied consent law, any person who operates a motor vehicle is deemed to have given consent to a chemical test or tests of the person’s breath, blood, saliva or urine for the purpose of determining the alcohol or drug content of the person’s if the arresting officer has reasonable grounds to believe that they have committed a DWI.

This law requires you to submit to a chemical (breath) test when requested by a law enforcement officer following a lawful DWI arrest.  If you refused to submit to the test, your license was likely revoked for one year.  If you failed a chemical test (BAC of 0.08 % or greater (0.02 % or greater for persons under 21)), you likely face a 30 day suspension followed by 60 days of restricted driving privileges.  [Note:  This period is longer if you had a prior DWI type incident in the past five years.]

If you had a valid Missouri drivers license at the time of your arrest, the officer probably seized your license and issued you a 15 day temporary driving permit.  You have 15 days from the date of your Notice of Suspension/Revocation is issued (usually your date of arrest) to request an administrative hearing to challenge this suspension / revocation.  If timely requested, a hearing is scheduled by the Department of Revenue.  The court may issue a stay order allowing you to continue to drive until the court issues its final order on your challenge.

If the court rules in your favor, the suspension / revocation is canceled and your license is returned.  If the court denies your challenge, you will serve the remaining time for the original revocation period.  You will then need to meet the reinstatement requirements.


The Missouri DWI / Excessive BAC Criminal Offense:  Separate from the administrative (implied consent) suspension /revocation is the criminal charge for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving with excessive blood alcohol content (BAC).

Under Missouri law, it is unlawful for a person to operate a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition.  A person is in an “intoxicated condition” when he is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or drug, or any combination.

It is also unlawful for a person to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or greater.  This offense is known as “driving with excessive blood alcohol content” sometimes referred to as a “per se DWI.”

Important:  The implied consent revocation / suspension and the criminal DWI case are completely separate proceedings from one another.