Things you should know immediately upon your arrest
In Missouri, DWI or DUI are basically synonymous terms. Regardless of whether you have been arrested and charged with DWI or DUI, the upshot is the same. If you are arrested for DWI, you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated because the arresting officer believed that you were driving your vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. If you are arrested for driving under the influence, the arresting officer believed that you were driving your vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In either event, you must understand that, upon your arrest for DUI or DWI, you have two problems which will be facing you. They are as follows:
The traffic ticket or tickets that you have received as the result of the DWI or DUI arrest; and
The possible suspension or revocation of your Missouri Driver's license and/or Missouri driving privilege either because you allegedly tested in excess of .08% on the breath test machine or because you allegedly refused to take the breath test.
Many people who come to see me have gotten themselves into greater trouble because they only paid attention to the Court date that was listed on their ticket or tickets. The Court date on the ticket or tickets will only tell you the date that you have to appear in Court for the first time on the ticket or tickets you have received. However, the possible administrative suspension or revocation of your Missouri driver's license and/or your Missouri driving privilege for allegedly testing in excess of .08% on the breath test or for allegedly refusing the breath test needs much more immediate attention. Whether you allegedly tested too high on the breath test or whether you allegedly refused to submit to the breath test, the time clock begins to run from the date of your arrest for purposes of your ability to be able to lawfully drive your vehicle. In both instances, you will receive a 15-day driving permit which will run out after the passage of fifteen days from your arrest date unless appropriate steps are taken to extend the driving permit. If you allegedly test too high on the breath test (in other words, if you test more than .08 %) you must file a request for a hearing to have this aspect of your case reviewed within 15 days of the date of your arrest. If you allegedly refuse to take the breath test, you have 30 days from the date of your arrest to file a petition for a hearing to review your alleged refusal to take the breath test.
As you can see, in either the case of a breath test refusal or an excessive breath test, you can't just wait until your court date comes as shown on your ticket. If you do, you will lose certain rights to challenge the applicable aspect of your case, be it an alleged chemical refusal or an alleged breath test which exceeds .08%. It is important for you to understand that it is possible to be successful in these aspects of your DWI or DUI case. If you have any questions, or you would like to discuss a problem such as this with me, please feel free to contact me at (816) 759-8928 to make an appointment.