It is illegal in the state of Missouri to operate a motorized vehicles with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Drivers may also be arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated) if their BAC is below the legal limit if they are unable to safely operate the vehicle. Commercial drivers can be arrested if their BAC is above the illegal limit of 0.04%, and drivers under the age of 21 can be arrested if their BAC is 0.02% or higher.
4th DUI in Missouri – What are the penalties?
Unfortunately, if you have been charged with a fourth DUI the state will consider this a very serious offense. You are an “aggravated offender” and will be charged with a Class C felony.
Drivers convicted of a Class C felony can face up to seven years in prison, fines up to $5,000 (plus court costs). How much probation and jail you will receive will depend on a variety of factors, including what court hears your DUI case. Keep in mind, the jail term is not generally suspended.
One of the most severe punishments for a Missouri DUI is the revocation of your driving privilege. You will have your license revoked for 10 years, and it will not matter how long ago your previous DUI convictions occurred. Consider as well that you will not be able to get a hardship license which means it may be difficult to find transportation to work.
What about restoring your driver’s license after 10 years? This can only be done by court order and may not be a simple process.
Can a DUI be expunged from my Missouri driving record?
Many drivers are interested in expunging a DUI from their driving record, especially if it is affecting their employment opportunities. Expungement may be possible but not for the fourth time DUI offender.
According to 577.054 RSMo, expungement may be available but only prior to the second DUI charge. The Statute states, “After a period of not less than ten years, and individual who has pleaded guilty or has been convicted for a first offense alcohol related driving offense which is a misdemeanor….and who since such date has not been convicted of any other alcohol related driving offense may apply to the court in which he pled guilty or was sentenced for an order to expunge from all official records all recordations of his arrest, plea, trial or conviction.”
What happens if you have been convicted of another DUI driving offense in the 10 years prior to that date? The court will deny the expungement.
Hiring a DUI lawyer
Given the severity of DUI penalties for a fourth DUI conviction in Missouri, it is important to contact a DUI lawyer immediately. They can review your DUI arrest and determine if all the laws were followed, if the officer had probable cause to make the DUI arrest or if any of the chemical evidence can be challenged. They can also help you determine if you should plead guilty, discuss a plea agreement or fight the DUI charges in court.