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Bill would change how first-time DUIs are penalized

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2022 | Dui |

In Kansas City and throughout Missouri, law enforcement is vigilant about finding and catching drivers who get behind the wheel while under the influence. DUIs are a common cause of auto accidents with injuries and death, so it is understandable that there is significant concern and rampant attempts to address it. Still, just because a driver is stopped by law enforcement and arrested on DUI charges does not automatically imply guilt. The penalties can be severe, so it is imperative to know how to craft a defense. This may become even more important if a potential new law is enacted.

Ignition interlock device may be installed after a first DUI in Missouri

If a new bill that has been proposed becomes law, drivers who are convicted of a first-offense DUI in Missouri would be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle for a minimum of six months. As with most DUI laws, the objective is to dissuade drivers who might consider driving under the influence and for them to choose other options to avoid these penalties for a DUI. It is a Class B misdemeanor with fines and the possibility of jail time. The duration will hinge on the amount of alcohol in the system.

When a driver is initially convicted, the driver license might be suspended for 90 days. The idea behind the ignition interlock is to add a layer to the process not just to prevent drivers from committing DUI, but to try and stop drivers from driving under the influence again. Groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are supporting the bill. It is uncertain if it will get out of committee in state House of Representatives.

Those charged with DUI should be aware of the possible penalties

Even with this bill not yet becoming law, it shows how problematic the penalties for even a first-time DUI can be. Being convicted of a DUI can negatively impact a person’s work, their education and their entire life. They might be incarcerated, lose the ability to drive, be fined and more. There are effective avenues to craft a defense. The way the case was investigated, how the evidence was gathered or a reasonable explanation as to why the driver appeared drunk could all help with being acquitted. Having assistance with every aspect of the case is key. Part of that is knowing the possible penalties. This is essential for the defense and achieving a positive outcome.