Most everyone knows that it’s illegal to drink and drive in Missouri, but just how drunk do you have to be in order to be considered intoxicated?
In Missouri, as elsewhere across the country, law enforcement uses Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), the amount of alcohol found in someone’s blood stream. For example, a BAC of 0.10% means that there is one part alcohol for every 1000 parts of blood. BAC may be measured through Breathalyzer tests, blood tests, or urine tests.
BAC Limits for Missouri Drivers
The legal limit as far as BAC is concerned, depends on a few different factors.
If you are a person over the age of 21 driving a non-commercial vehicle, the legal limit BAC is 0.08. How many drinks does that translate to? It depends heavily on how often you drink, how quickly you drank, your weight, and whether or not you’ve eaten. However, a very general rule of thumb is not to get behind the wheel right after you’ve had more than one or two drinks in succession.
If you are a person over the age of 21 driving a commercial vehicle, the legal limit BAC in Missouri is 0.04. That translates to almost any drinking – even if you have a beer with dinner, you might want to wait a while. This law is for any person using their commercial driver’s license, which could include truck drivers, bus drivers, delivery drivers, limo drivers, and more.
If you are under the age of 21, the legal limit BAC in Missouri is 0.02 – which basically means you can only have a trace amount of alcohol in your system. This makes sense because drinking alcohol when you are under the age of 21 is already illegal, and driving afterwards is even worse.
Increased Penalties For High BAC In Missouri
Having a very high BAC can make you even more of a danger on the roads: you risk making rash decisions, getting onto a highway traveling the wrong way, or passing out while behind the wheel. In fact, a 2014 study found that 56 percent of drivers who had been drinking and were involved in fatal crashes had a BAC of 0.15 or greater.
For this reason, Missouri has special laws that punish drivers more harshly for exceedingly high BAC. If your BAC is over 0.15, you face a mandatory 2-day imprisonment. If your BAC is over 0.20, you face a mandatory five-day imprisonment.
Get Legal Help With Your Missouri DWI Charge
At Shostak Law Firm, we are committed to helping our clients move past their DWI/DUI charge as quickly and painlessly as possible, with the best possible outcome for their case. To learn more, get our FREE Missouri DWI Survival Guide, or call our offices today at (314) 380-3059 or fill out our contact form.