How to Get Back on the Road after a Missouri DWI

driving after a Missouri DWIWhen your license is revoked or suspended due to drinking and driving, it can make your life difficult. If there’s no mass transit in your area, you have to rely on friends, family, and expensive taxi services to get you where you’re going. Some states will allow you to regain some of your driving privileges after part of your revocation period has passed, as long as certain conditions are met.

Missouri DWI offenders have the opportunity to obtain a Limited Driving Privilege (LDP) if their driving privilege is suspended, revoked, or denied and not currently eligible for reinstatement. This allows you to be able to drive for employment or other important reasons. You have to serve 30 days, or 90 if you refused BAC testing, of your revocation or suspension period before you’re eligible for an LDP. On your first Missouri DWI offense, you usually don’t have to serve any revocation period at all as long as you have an ignition interlock device installed.

Here are the steps for obtaining an LDP after a Missouri DWI:

  • Determine if you are eligible for an LDP.
  • Make an appointment and have your ignition interlock device
  • Fill out the application for an LDP.
  • Completion form from your substance abuse program if you were ordered to participate in one.
  • Proof of financial responsibility, such as an SR-22 form.
  • Send these documents plus your reinstatement fee to the DMV.
  • If your license has been revoked for at least a year, you will have to take and pass a complete driver’s examination and apply for a new license.

If convicted of a Missouri DWI, you will be subjected to many penalties such as fines, jail time, license revocation, completion of a substance abuse program, and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. But, the effects on your life are much longer reaching. Make the smart decision to always use a designated driver or alternate method of transportation if you’ve been drinking.

Ready to Drive after a Mississippi DUI?

driving after a mississippi duiDid you know that, if you’re arrested for drunk driving in Mississippi, your driver’s license can be suspended even if you are not later convicted of the crime? Mississippi is one of the 42 states that have administrative license revocation (ALR) – the power of law enforcement to suspend your license immediately if your BAC is over 0.08% or you refuse to take a sobriety test. So even if you’re never convicted in a courtroom, choosing to drink and drive will always mean that consequences will follow.

Whether you’re convicted in court, have a suspension through the DMV, or both, a Mississippi DUI is serious, and subsequent offenses will increase your penalties. If you have a third conviction within five years, your third conviction will be a felony, and that will follow you for the rest of your life. The legal penalties for a Mississippi DUI can include jail time, fines, license suspension or revocation, driver education program, substance abuse treatment program, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.

To regain your driving privileges once you been convicted of a DUI in Mississippi, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Serve your jail and/or suspension time.
  2. Attend the Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program (MASEP).
  3. Get a copy of your Motor Vehicle Report.
  4. Obtain proof of hardship and qualify for the hardship license.
  5. Provide proof of financial responsibility or SR-22 insurance.
  6. File a petition for a hardship license.
  7. Pay all fees and fines.
  8. Have an ignition interlock device installed.

Remember to report in for monitoring and maintenance of your ignition interlock device. The device is a requirement of keeping your hardship license, as is attending each appointment. The device records data that indicates your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) when driving, the number of times you drive, how far you drive, and if any attempts to tamper with the device were made.

Your Florida DUI and Your Driving Rights

Florida DUI drivingIn Florida a police officer is able to revoke your license immediately if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above .08% or if you refuse to be tested. You do not have to convicted of a Florida DUI to have your license suspended because they can issue you an administrative penalty immediately.

A criminal Florida DUI conviction carries severe penalties. There are fines, jail time, alcohol education requirements, and the possibility of having to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle. For a first-time Florida DUI, you only have to have an IID installed is if your BAC is over .15% or there was a minor in the car, but subsequent offenses all require some time with an IID after your license is reinstated. After the revocation period is over, starting with your second offense, an IID is required for one to two years.

The steps to regaining your driving privileges after a Florida DUI conviction include:

  1. Apply for a hardship license with the Florida DMV.
  2. Complete required penalties such as community service and substance abuse courses.
  3. Within 90 days, enroll in and complete the 12-hour Florida Advanced Driver Improvement Course, get your enrollment certificate.
  4. Obtain a copy of your 30-day driving record.
  5. Make an appointment to get your ignition interlock device installed.
  6. Obtain an SR-22 certificate or other proof of financial responsibility.
  7. Take all forms to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), pay any applicable fees and fines, receive your hardship license.

A hardship license will only allow you to drive under certain circumstances and/or to certain destinations. This is not a full return of your driving privileges. Your best plan is to not get a Florida DUI in the first place so that you never lose your license, but if you do, these are the steps you must take to regain some of your privileges.

Will West Virginia DUI Law Change?

West Virginia DUI law changesWest Virginia lawmakers are looking at closing the Office of Administrative Hearings for West Virginia DUI offenders. A new piece of legislation, Senate Bill 212, is being met with opposition as it would eliminate the Office of Administrative Hearings and have license revocations be handled through the court system.  The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) is NOT part of the Division of Motor Vehicles DMV. While both agencies exist under the Department of Transportation umbrella, both agencies are separate and distinct from one another.

As the law stands now, alleged drunk drivers must follow directions through two different groups within West Virginia. The criminal charges against the driver are handled through magistrate court. The proposal suggests that license revocations be handled through the court system. License suspension is critical because it serves a swift consequence for people who make the choice to drive drunk. West Virginia’s current administrative license suspension law is a model for the nation. It allows for, but not does mandate, offenders to immediately go on an ignition interlock device instead of an unenforceable time or route-restricted license.

In the past decade ignition interlock devices have stopped 24,331 attempts to drive drunk with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater.

If SB 212 were to become law, there would be fewer license suspensions and fewer offenders using an ignition interlock device, which would lead to more drunk drivers on West Virginia roadways. As a result, this bill is detrimental to public safety.

Supporters of the bill say eliminating the office would save the state $3 million yearly.  Those opposed say the court system is already overwhelmed, especially because of the drug epidemic, and not equipped to handle the licensing element of DUI cases. Opponents say that when a driver is charged with DUI, regardless of what happens with charges in the criminal justice system, the driver can still be reprimanded by losing his/her license if the OAH feels there is enough evidence to revoke a license after a hearing process. If the office is closed, that will mean a layer of protection lost for the driving public.

Since 2008, drunk driving offenders who seek driving privileges during the revocation period must use an ignition interlock through the state’s Test and Lock Program, which is regulated by the DMV.

  • First-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 to .14 must use an interlock for a period of four months.
  • Offenders with a BAC of .15 or greater must use the device for nine months.

The revocation period, and granting driving privileges only with an ignition interlock, is critical to protecting the public and the driver from the potential for repeat offenses. In fact, West Virginia has reduced drunk driving fatalities by 50 percent since enacting its ignition interlock law in 2008. Altering the license revocation law in any way would turn back the clock and put more lives at risk in West Virginia. Contact your local legislative office to urge your representative to reject SB 212 or any proposal that would weaken West Virginia’s drunk driving law.

DWI Doh! They Cancelled My Texas Driver’s License

Texas DWI suspended licenseJust when you think your Texas DWI can’t get any worse, you receive a notice in the mail that your driver’s license is no longer valid. Losing your license over a Texas DWI is common, especially when you are first arrested. Your license was revoked or suspended due to your pending DWI criminal charges, per the state’s administrative license revocation policy. But that’s in the past and you’ve been to court and know what the state expects of you. But, now you’ve got to clear up this new license problem.

You are eligible for an ignition interlock in Texas, even for a first-time DWI.

If you get a notice in the mail about your license suspension, it was probably just a step you missed in the process. For instance, a fee may have not been paid, or maybe you didn’t provide proof of your ignition interlock installation, your SR-22 or other documentation.  Make sure when going through the process of reinstating your license, you have proof of each step you’ve taken. That way, if your license is revoked accidentally, you can quickly resolve the issue and get back on the road.

Besides, having an ignition interlock installed on your vehicle without it counting toward your Texas DWI conviction can be a frustrating experience all its own.

Once you’ve assured the court and Texas Department of Public Safety that you are compliant with your court order, you should be okay to drive again. Just make sure that you continue to attend your ignition interlock service appointments and follow any other directives from the court. Your vigilance, patience, and commitment to sober driving will be the best way to get past your Texas DWI conviction and back onto a road of independence and sober driving, and in no time you’ll be back in the driver’s seat with your full independence.

A Second Chance: Missouri DWI SIS Program

Missouri DWI SIS programMissouri has a DWI SIS program through the criminal court. A SIS, or Suspension Imposition of Sentence, is a way of pleading guilty to a DWI to receive a non-criminal conviction. It’s a plea bargain that gives you a chance to expunge your DWI if you complete the program attached, including installing and maintaining an ignition interlock device. With a  SIS sentence, the defendant is placed on probation. If probation is broken, the defendant’s license is typically revoked, as well. The probation will most likely last two years.

A Missouri DWI SIS isn’t the end of the world, and can actually be a fresh start.

A SIS is preferable to many of the legal consequences of driving under the influence, especially as a more lenient sentence than what you could face in a DWI case.

  •    For some, a first offense DWI in MO can actually be forgotten and forgiven with an SIS: i.e. no more repercussions after the fact, what’s done is done.
  •    With the completion of the program, and not drinking and driving again, of course, the SIS could be both the first and last time that someone would have to pay the consequences for this mistake.

Probation is the biggest part of the SIS program. If the defendant violates probation and faces license revocation, then the judge may order any sentence within the full range of punishment for the crime convicted. If the defendant successfully completes probation, no sentence is actually ordered and the SIS is NOT considered a criminal conviction for anything other than law enforcement purposes. There’s no criminal charge on the offender’s public record, so future searches for housing or employment aren’t affected.

There’s no fee to participate in the Missouri DWI SIS program, just an opportunity to erase your past and do your best in the future.  Take the time to do the program that’s right for you.

Missouri Administrative Alcohol Suspension

Missouri administrative alcohol suspensionIf 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.

New York Conditional License Program

New York conditional licenseA New York conditional license can be issued to drivers who have had their license suspended or revoked due to a DWI or DUID violation. This is an administrative action, separate from a criminal conviction in the state, and subject to change if there is a DUI conviction. After a person is arrested and charged with a DWI, he or she has have to apply for the conditional license and attend an IDP (Impaired Driver Program), once the license is approved.

The New York Conditional license is a restricted license that allows you to take care of personal commitments.

If you qualify for the license, you will only be able to drive under certain circumstances. For example, a New York conditional license will allow alleged offenders the freedom to drive:

  • To and from their place of employment.
  • Their child to school or daycare if necessary to maintain employment or for their own enrollment in school, college or any state approved training programs.
  • If their job requires it, except for commercial driver’s license (CDL) drivers.
  • To any classes authorized by the IDP are also.
  • To any medical or clinical appointments.
  • To the DMV office if summoned to conduct any business related to their license or the program.

Your conditional license will be revoked if you are caught drinking and driving again, or any other moving violation (no seat belts, reckless driving, etc.).

When you have a conditional license in New York, if you are convicted of a DWI, you will still have an ignition interlock requirement. New York has an all-offender interlock requirement that has set the bar high for other states to follow, while keeping its streets safe from drunk drivers. Until you are ordered to install the device, however, the conditional license allows you the ability to legally drive. That keeps you moving in the right direction while you prepare for your day in DWI court.

Maryland Administrative Alcohol Restriction

Maryland Administrative Alcohol Restriction Maryland is about to hold you fully accountable, legally, for drunk driving. As of October 1, 2016, any DUI conviction will require that you pay court costs, fines and you will have an ignition interlock requirement too. But, before you even make it to court, you also have some consequences from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) that will make it a little more difficult to drive yourself around: an administrative alcohol restriction. In fact, even if your criminal DWI case is dismissed, that administrative restriction can still be a buzz kill in more ways than one.

After a DWI, you will have an administrative alcohol restriction and/or an ignition interlock restriction on your Maryland driver’s license.

An alcohol restriction on your MD license means that you are not allowed to drive if you’ve been drinking any amount of alcohol.  Your MVA administrative hearing will look at any prior alcohol or drug-related criminal charges, at the points on your license or a combination of both in order to fully hold you accountable on the administrative side. Considering an ignition interlock device usually prohibits you from a BAC of .02 percent, an administrative alcohol restriction is much more serious and is directly supervised by the MD MVA.

Also, if you have more than one DWI in two years, you’ll have a three-year administrative alcohol restriction through the MVA.

You could also have an ignition interlock restriction on your license that is in addition to the criminal DWI requirement you receive in court. Until Noah’s Law goes into effect in October, not all criminal DWI offenders will have an ignition interlock requirement. However, anyone can still opt for an interlock or have an administrative requirement today, tomorrow and for the foreseeable future.

Administrative penalties help keep repeat offenses down and can be a solution when a drunk driving charge is dropped or set aside. Plus, the sanctions are pretty immediate, giving an offender the ability to take control of their own recovery in many cases, before even heading into court.

LDP or RDP: Driving after a Missouri DWI

LDP or RDP Driving after a Missouri DWI When it comes to drunk driving, Missouri is tough, but also offers a few different options for offenders to help keep things positive. Some of those options are even available before a DWI offender makes it into a court, where a judge hands down the terms of the conviction. Administrative penalties are a stopgap solution in almost half the states in the U.S., helping offenders keep their freedom to drive – as long as there is an ignition interlock in place in most cases.

You’ll Need a Limited Driving Privilege (LDP) or Restricted Driving Privilege (RDP) after a Missouri DWI

Those are your options as long as you have no other alcohol-related convictions on your record, that is. After you are arrested or charged with your first-offense DWI, you can:

Both options require that you install and maintain an ignition interlock device and file proof of insurance (SR-22) to be approved for the RDP.

If you are charged with a Missouri DWI and already have an alcohol-related conviction on your record, you won’t qualify for a license suspension. Instead, you will have to apply for a Limited Driving Privilege (LDP) license, following a similar process as above. The difference between the two types of licenses, aside from the prior criminal conviction, is that the LDP limits your ability to drive outside of certain situations. For instance, the LDP will allow you to drive to and from work, but recreational driving may be off limits.

Between the RDP and LDP licenses, you still have every ability to recover from a Missouri DWI, and that’s even without court requirements for a criminal conviction. By following these administrative guidelines, you can get yourself ahead of the curve and show your commitment to sober driving, once and for all, before your freedom and ability to drive at will is taken from you completely.

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