Missouri Drunk Driving Laws & Penalties

Learn about the penalties for a DWI conviction in Missouri.

What are the penalties for a DWI/DUI in Missouri?

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense


Up to 6 months

Up to 1 year

Up to 4 years

Fines and Penalties

Up to $500

Up to $1,000

Up to $5,000

License Suspension

30 days

1 year

10 years

IID** Required


Possible after 1 year 


Lookback Period: 5 years (Period of time that prior DWIs are relevant for sentencing. Also known as a “washout” period.)

**Ignition Interlock Device

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DWI in Missouri?

Under 21


21 or older




** BAC = blood alcohol content

How many drinks does it take? Check the BAC chart.

You may want to try our BAC Calculator, however, I wouldn't let any results encourage you to drink and drive.

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in Missouri?

Missouri has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. Learn more about Missouri’s implied consent law.


1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Refusal to take test

1 year license revocation

1-year license revocation; ignition interlock device must be installed

1-year license revocation; ignition interlock device must be installed

Disclaimer: We try to keep the information provided here up to date. However, laws often change, as do their interpretation and application. Different jurisdictions within a state may enforce the laws in different ways. For that reason, we recommended that you seek the advice of a local attorney familiar with DUI cases in your area.

Can you plead to a lesser offense than DWI in Missouri?

Plea bargaining for a lesser charge is a possibility in a Missouri DWI case. Depending on the circumstances, plea bargaining for a "careless and imprudent driving" charge could be an option.

(Read more about Missouri's careless and imprudent driving laws.) 

Drinking and Driving Laws in Missouri

It is illegal in the State of Missouri to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above. The limit is lower for commercial drivers and drivers under the age of 21. Instead of "DUI," Missouri uses the driving while intoxicated (DWI). The Missouri DWI law includes alcohol and/or drugs. While the DWI specify's a .08 BAC in the case of alcohol, it is illegal to drive with any amount of a controlled substance such as marijuana or cocaine present in the driver's blood.

How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit? There isn't one right answer to this question. There are calculators and charts that can provide a reference based on certain criteria, however, these devices shouldn't be used as the deciding factor when considering drinking and driving. In reality, it takes very little alcohol to become legally drunk and physical characteristics such as weight, gender and body fat percentage can all be factors in the equation. The best answer is to have zero drinks before you drive.

Talk to a Lawyer

Want to talk to an attorney? Start here.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Connect with local attorneys