Looking back on life can be a bittersweet journey. The things you’ve accomplished in the past few years probably burn a little brighter in your mind than even your childhood memories. In a very similar way, Missouri takes a “lookback” over a DWI offender’s history with drinking and driving; a longer time between second or subsequent offenses may not have the same “burning” penalties as a person with more than one DWI within just a few years. This “lookback” or “washout” period isn’t available in every state, but, Missouri does allow the chance for rebooting your criminal record after a DWI, under certain circumstances.
The Missouri DWI “washout” or “lookback” period for determining a second or subsequent DWI conviction is five years, giving you a chance to start over, in a sense, if you are convicted of another drunk driving charge. Typically, if you have two DWI convictions that are seven years apart, you will likely face only the first-time DWI offender penalties. However, that does not mean the first conviction is removed from your criminal record or driving record, and you will still have consequences like an ignition interlock installation, license suspension, court fines and possible jail time.
Even though Missouri offers you this “second chance” for DWI convictions, once you’ve already had the experience of a courtroom, paying those fines and an ignition interlock, there is a hope that you won’t attempt to drink and drive again. You may not have to worry about stricter consequences, despite a DWI “washout” or “lookback” period, but, you are still responsible for your safety and the safety of others on the road. One DWI charge is too many, and more than one can indicate a habitual pattern of behavior. Instead, make it a priority to habitually find a safe, sober ride home, and leave the “lookback” at life one that burns with nothing but pride.