DRIVER’S LICENSE SUSPENSIONS
For many individuals, one of the biggest hardships resulting from a DWI or DUI charge, which can include DRUG INTOXICATION, is the loss of driving privilege. The suspension or revocation of a person’s license can occur in a variety of different ways; and in many cases, a person may be suspended or revoked for more than one reason at the same time.
1. IMPLIED CONSENT LAW: 577.020 RSMo.
2. REFUSAL TO TEST SUSPENSIONS: 577.0041 RSMo.
3. ADMINISTRATIVE SUSPENSION: 302.0525 RSMo.
4. POINT SUSPENSIONS: 302.304 RSMo.
5. POINT SYSTEM IN MISSOURI: 302.302 RSMo.
6. 5 and 10 Year Denial Revocation: MO. DOR (see multiple convictions).
7. “Abuse and Lose” Suspensions: MO. DOR (see Abuse and Lose).
8. Missouri DOR Site info. Excellent additional source of information linking directly to the Missouri Dept. of Revenue site. Remember that it is NOT the Court that determines the length or type of suspension or revocation that a person is subject to. It is the Missouri Dept. of Revenue, Driver’s License Bureau. However, the type and length of a Suspension or Revocation, is determined (at least in most instances), by what actually happens on the DWI, DUI or Drug Intoxication case, in the Courts. This also can include Refusal and Administrative Suspensions, where time is truly of the essence. Therefore, it is essential to obtain Legal counsel as soon as possible after an Arrest or any other Alcohol or Drug enforcement contact.
For further information, and also information on Hardship, Limited Driving Privileges, following a License Suspension or Revocation, as well as information regarding rules and statutes for filing a Petition for Reinstatement of Driver’s License following a 5 or 10 year license denial, see HARDSHIP LICENSES page, on this site.
Additional Notes regarding Refusing to take the chemical tests, which may be followed by a Warrant for a Blood draw, done without your consent:
Under the Implied Consent Law: 577.020RSMo., and the Refusal Suspension Law: 577.0041, it is clear that under current Missouri law, a Refusal to test, will result in a 1 year Refusal Suspension or Revocation of the person’s Driver’s license. There are rules regarding Probable cause, and other things, which must be followed, and are subject to challenge in Court, for the Officer to make the request. However, under current laws (which are always changing), the Officer may request a person to consent to the testing of Breath, Blood, Saliva or Urine, to determine the presence, or percentage of Alcohol or Drug content. If a Refusal is made to consent to test, and if the proper procedures and requirements were followed and met, then the person will be subject to a Refusal suspension or revocation of Driving privilege, regardless of whether that person is ever convicted of DWI, DUI, Drug Intoxication, etc. In addition, under current law (which again, is always subject to change), the Officer can get a Warrant to draw your Blood, regardless of whether you consent to it or not. In other words, the Government gets the Blood test if they get a Warrant, and you still get the 1 year License Suspension or Revocation, because you did non consent to give the officer the requested test voluntarily. Doesn’t seem fair; but that is the way it is under current Case law. This case law may change at any time, or some version of it may become Statute at any time.
An important consideration for anyone in deciding whether to voluntarily consent to test, is that often (not always), you will only be asked to take a Breath test. The law at the time of this writing, is that the Officer may request you to take up to two different tests, which could be any combination of the current tests mentioned above. If the request is only for a Breath test, that only tests for Blood Alcohol content, remember that such a machine only tests for Alcohol. Good news, if you happen to also be under the influence of any other Drug. The Officer could still ask you to take a second test, which would likely detect the presence of any other drugs tested for. However, the Officer might only ask for the Breath test, and if you refuse the Breath test, (which is the most likely request), and if the Officer gets a Warrant, then the test will be a Blood test, and it will pick up the percentage of Blood Alcohol content, “BAC,” and almost any other substance that might impair your ability to safely drive. NOTE: This could also include Prescription medicines, such as for Pain, and other things, and the fact that you may have a Prescription for the medicine is not a defense to driving under the influence of it, if it impairs, or contributes to the impairment, of your ability to safely drive. Therefore, in your considerations of whether to consent to test or not, remember that if you refuse consent, you will most likely lose your privilege to drive for a year, just for the Refusal itself, and in many circumstances the Officer will obtain a Warrant and have your Blood drawn, whether you agree to it or not. As discussed, the Blood test, will test for Alcohol and any other drugs. Just in case it is not clear, a Criminal charge for DWI, DUI may be based on Alcohol or Drugs, or a combination. Also, even if no chemical test is obtained, a person may still be charged with Driving under the influence of Alcohol or Drugs, based on the observations of impairment by the Officer. Obviously an actual chemical test greatly helps the Government’s case; but many convictions still take place, even without a chemical test, based on the observations of impairment by the Officer, and sometimes even other witnesses.
NOTE: As mentioned on other parts of this site, including the Home page, use of this information is NOT to be considered as Legal Advice, and also does NOT, create any type of Attorney Client relationship. The information on this page is only partial, and is NOT presented to reflect the actual laws, or all of the relevant laws, at the time it was written, or at the time that you read it.
Always retain (that means hire and create and actual Attorney Client relationship), and then consult your Legal counsel for the most up to date laws, rules and regulations.
Steven F. Groce, Attorney
Offices located in Springfield Missouri.
Client Meetings: 1705 N. Jefferson Ave., Springfield, MO. 65803
South Office: (by appointment only)
1200 E. Woodhurst Drive, Bldg. B, Suite 100, Springfield, MO. 65804