Drivers pulled over in traffic whose blood alcohol concentration exceeds the limits imposed by the law usually receive the Notice of License Suspension or Revocation (Form 2385) regarding their driving privileges. Depending on the circumstances of their offense and on the skills of their St. Louis DWI lawyer, those who depend on their driving ability to earn their living, care for family members, or complete their education may obtain Restricted Driving Privilege (RDP) or Limited Driving Privilege (LDP).
According to Missouri DWI laws, drivers with a BAC of 0.08% face direct charges with no further evidence of their impairment being necessary. When their BAC reaches or exceeds 0.15%, drivers risk “aggravated DWI” charges and enhanced penalties. For drivers under 21 years of age, Missouri DWI laws show no tolerance, foreseeing a BAC level of 0.02%. Restricted and Limited Driving Privileges are only available to certain driver categories, under specific conditions reviewed below.
When Do St. Louis DWI Laws Allow Restricted Driving Privileges?
The Restricted Driving Privilege is available to drivers who have had no license suspensions or offenses related to alcohol consumption throughout a 5-year period. The law foresees 30 days of license suspension, followed by 60 days of Restricted Driving Privilege. However, drivers who install an ignition interlock device (IID) may qualify for 90 days of Restricted Driving Privilege.
The Restricted Driving Privilege is only available for activities related to employment, medical treatments, education, childcare, or IID maintenance. The procedure for obtaining the RDP depends on whether the privilege is for the 60 days following the 30 days suspension period, or for 90 days.
In order to obtain the 60 days RDP, drivers have to complete the suspension period, provide insurance proof (the SR-22 form) if they are 21 years old or above, and prove that they have installed an ignition interlock device on the car/cars they operate.
In order to obtain the 90 days RDP, drivers must fill in and submit a Request for Immediate 90-Day Restricted Driving Privilege (included on Form 2385, or available separately as Form 5489) within 15 days from their license suspension or revocation, in addition to the insurance and IID installation proofs required for the 60 days RDP as well.
When the RDP period expires, in order to reinstate their license, drivers must obtain a certification from the IID installer that they did not break any rules. If they fail to submit this certification to the Department of Revenue, they risk a 30-day extension of their RDP or a 30-day suspension of all their driving privileges.
When Do St. Louis DWI Laws Allow Limited Driving Privileges?
The Limited Driving Privilege is available to drivers caught driving while intoxicated and that have one or more offenses related to alcohol on their record for the 5-year period preceding the pull-over or arrest, who do not qualify for RDP. If they do not obtain LDP, these drivers risk a 1-year revocation of their driving privileges.
LDP allows drivers to operate a vehicle in pre-approved situations related to their employment, medical treatment, or other important matters. However, it is not available to drivers who find themselves in one or more of the situations described below:
- They are eligible for reinstating their driving license but do not meet all the reinstatement requirements
- They have a motor vehicle-related felony on record within the past 5 years
- Their commercial driving privileges were suspended, revoked, or cancelled (LDP is only available for non-commercial use)
- They failed to pass the driving or medical examination requested by the Director of Revenue
- Their driving license is subject to suspension due to an unsatisfied car accident judgment (until they make the due payments and comply with the court’s requirements)
- They have unpaid tickets in Missouri or some other state, and their license is subject to suspension until they pay the ticket and prove their compliance
- The police suspended their driving license after a St. Louis DWI conviction (they may be eligible for RDP)
- They have an Administrative Alcohol Suspension (they may be eligible for RDP)
- They are not Missouri residents and do not work or go to school here.
In order to obtain LDP, drivers have two options: submit their application to the Department of Revenue or file a petition to the circuit court of the county they live and work in. For the Department of Revenue, drivers need to fill in Form 4595, provide proof of insurance (SR-22 form), and prove that they have installed an IID on their vehicle. The Department of Revenue reviews applications within 5 working days and sends answers by email.
Drivers who would like to avoid dealing with the Department of Revenue or have 5 or 10 years denials on their driving records should file a petition for LDP with the circuit court in the county where they live or work. They will have to pay the filing fee and corresponding court costs and provide proof of insurance and IID installation.
Drivers with 5 or 10 years of denials on their records may need to install camera- and GPS-equipped IID on their cars. For approved applications or petitions, the authorities will issue an Order Granting Limited Driving Privilege, which will replace the driving license.
Keeping One’s Driving Privilege after DWI in Missouri
Since there are so many conditions to meet and formalities to fulfill, drivers facing DWI charges in Missouri and wanting to obtain RDP or LDP should consult a St. Louis DWI attorney as soon as possible.
Experienced Missouri DWI lawyers have their own strategies to fight DWI charges and help their clients avoid license suspension or revocation. They also know how to prove their clients’ dependence on their driving skills and prepare infallible applications for RDP or LDP, saving their clients valuable time, money, and headaches.
Consult with a Missouri DWI Attorney to Discuss License Suspension
If you or someone you know is facing DWI charges, your best chance to avoid license suspension and maintain your driving privilege is to get in touch with a reputed St. DWI attorney. Call 314-88-9247 or use the online contact form to benefit from a FREE consultation with a skilled and dedicated attorney at Hollingshead & Dudley Trial Lawyers!