If you are stopped in Missouri under suspicion of a DWI, you’ll be given a few roadside sobriety tests that will indicate whether the officer should investigate you further. After evaluating your balance or watching you walk a straight line, the next step (no pun intended) is asking whether you agree to a breathalyzer test to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). That question is important because if you say no, then you will likely be arrested for DWI based on the observations of the officer, and you’ll have an administrative alcohol suspension of your driver’s license for your refusal.
An administrative alcohol suspension is done with the authority of the Missouri Department of Revenue.
That simple refusal means that you cannot legally drive until you take care of the problem, in court and with the Missouri Department of Revenue. Fortunately, the administrative alcohol suspension doesn’t actually kick in for 15 days after your DWI stop. Those 15 days give you the chance to contest the suspension and request a hearing, where you can go defend yourself against the administrative penalties.
On the other hand, those 15 days will also allow you, as a first-time DWI offender, to voluntarily install an ignition interlock device before your suspension. When you take that route, you actually get to skip the administrative hearing, your license will be unsuspended and you will be allowed to drive as normal, as long as you are using the interlock to monitor your sobriety behind the wheel. An ignition interlock device is not legally required for a low-BAC first-offense DWI in Missouri, but you can see the benefit of going that extra step and keeping yourself on a responsible road to recovery.
Remember that even with an ignition interlock option and an easier way to move on after a DWI, you are still safest when you remain sober behind the wheel. An administrative alcohol suspension may be the least of your problems when you’ve had one too many before heading home, and it’s the easiest situation to avoid when you think ahead.