A Missouri DWI means different things to different people. For example, you could go straight through the process without blinking, face your administrative and judicial penalties and come out on the other side with big lessons learned. You also have the option to fight the charges in court, through the Missouri Department of Revenue or both. Sometimes, you can even have a plea bargain in place for the judicial hearing that reduces your misdemeanor to a non-criminal offense.
But all Missouri DWI roads still lead to SATOP, the Missouri Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program.
In many cases, a first-offense Missouri DWI without aggravating circumstances can be reduced through the court process, or with a plea bargain (please consult an attorney). The key to that is SATOP, partially because you have to complete the program to have your license reinstated through the Department of Revenue. The other side of that is that SATOP provides the education resources and support for those who may have a dependence or addiction to alcohol, as well as monitoring an ignition interlock requirement as needed by the court or Department of Revenue.
SATOP has a successful track record in providing the resources needed for public safety while helping Missouri DWI offenders get back on track quickly. Many times, a DWI comes down to bad judgment, and few people actually intend to drive while intoxicated. SATOP not only helps offenders recognize where their choice went wrong, but gives them tools, incentive and the support needed to make better choices in the future, and for life. For anyone facing a DWI, even with a potential plea bargain in the works, having a program that encourages a healthy relationship with alcohol is the best prevention of further incidents.