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St. Charles Underage DUI Lawyer
Trusted and Committed Advocacy in St. Charles and Lincoln Counties
If you or your child are facing underage DUI charges in Missouri, do not fear. The penalties for underage drivers are usually lesser than for standard DUIs, and it will be possible to reinstate your license following the necessary suspension or revocation period. Wayne T. Schoeneberg has been practicing the law for over 40 years, and he has seen it all. Underage DUI happens, and Attorney Schoeneberg will calm your natural anxieties and fears as he explains the relevant DWI and MIP laws to you. He will take the time and attention to work personally with you on your case and protect your right to drive.
Underage DUI and Minor in Possession (MIP)
Minors in Missouri may be charged with a couple different crimes for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. For one, underage individuals (under the age of 21) who have been arrested or stopped while possessing a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .02% or more could face a range of administrative penalties (discussed below).
Additionally, a Missouri underage driver could also face charges for being a minor in possession (MIP) if they are operating a motor vehicle while:
- purchasing or attempting to purchase any intoxicating liquor;
- possessing any intoxicating liquor; or
- being visibly intoxicated as defined by Missouri law.
Note that it is possible for an underage driver to be charged with an MIP instead of a DWI if their BAC is below 0.08%.
Recall that Missouri teens can obtain a driver’s permit when they turn 15 years old and an intermediate license once they turn 16 years old. However, drivers must not have been convicted of any alcohol-related offense over the last 12 months in order to legally obtain such an intermediate license. So, be aware that if a teen driver with a driver’s permit is convicted of an underage DWI, they cannot obtain their intermediate license until 12 months have passed since the conviction.
Any underage driver convicted of DWI could face a range of penalties, from jail time to fines to license suspension and revocation. First-time underage DWI offenders could face up to 6 months in jail, and repeat offenders can face lengthier sentences. Rest assured that it is not common for judges to sentence a first-time offender to 6 months in jail, though it is nonetheless a possibility by law.
Underage drivers convicted for DWI could also face substantial fines. More specifically, a judge has the authority to impose fines of up to $500 for first offenders and more than $1,000 for repeat offenders.
An underage driver who is arrested for DWI will also face an immediate suspension or revocation of their driving license. First-time underage DWI offenders may face up to 90 days of license suspension, and repeat offenders could face lengthier periods of suspension or revocation depending on their number of priors and the severity of the situation.
In the case of MIP charges, a first MIP withdrawal action is a 30-day license suspension, and a second withdrawal is a 90-day suspension; third or subsequent withdrawal actions will result in a 1-year revocation.