The Legal Alcohol Limit in St. Louis, Missouri

While there’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks, knowing your limits is essential. Impaired judgment behind the wheel can lead to an arrest, an accident, or worse, injury or death.

If you’re planning on having even a couple of alcoholic beverages in one sitting, you should either have a designated driver or call a ridesharing service to take you home.

Taking these precautions can help you avoid driving while under the influence. Even if you feel fine after one or two drinks, your blood alcohol content (BAC) level may be high enough for you to be considered intoxicated. 

Drinking and driving is a serious crime in St. Louis, regardless of whether you had one or ten drinks. It all depends on your blood alcohol concentration.

Knowing the BAC limit in St. Louis, as well as the DWI laws, can help you create healthy and safe drinking habits and avoid dangerous health hazards like alcohol poisoning or alcohol abuse. If you understand how alcohol affects you, you can limit your drinking or know when to call a cab. This can help you avoid being charged with a DWI

You can rely on a criminal defense lawyer at Rose Legal Services if you’ve been arrested for drinking while driving. We’ll protect your rights and fight for your charges to be reduced.

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

What is the BAC Limit in St. Louis?

The BAC limit in St. Louis is based on different categories of drivers. This means there’s not one designated blood alcohol level for which you can be arrested. 

It’s helpful to know which category you belong to so you can understand your limits. 

Drivers Over the Age of 21

Anyone over 21 who doesn’t drive commercial vehicles has the same BAC limit threshold. In St. Louis, the cap on blood alcohol levels for this group is 0.08% or higher.

However, it’s important to remember that an alcoholic drink can affect BAC differently, depending on the individual. A person who drinks three beverages might reach 0.08%, while another person of a different height, age, or body weight can drink the exact amount and be at a lower blood alcohol content.

Your BAC can also be impacted by how much food you have consumed before, during, and after drinking alcohol.

Commercial Drivers Over the Age of 21

In Missouri, the next group is commercial drivers over 21. Commercial vehicles include semi trucks, trailers, tractors, and other large vehicles. 

If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), the BAC limit to legally drive is 0.04%.

Commercial drivers have a lower limit because they operate large vehicles. This limit applies even if you’re not driving a commercial vehicle when pulled over.

Drivers Under the Age of 21

Finally, the last group is drivers under the age of 21. Missouri has a zero-tolerance policy, meaning your license can be suspended if you’re under 21 and charged with a DWI. 

The legal limit for this policy is an extremely low 0.02%. This rule is to prevent underage people from drunk driving.

While there are different BAC thresholds for various groups in St. Louis, it’s also important to note that if you have a BAC level of 0.15% or higher, you will likely have a harsher sentence.

Consequences for Drinking and Driving

The penalties for drinking and driving in St. Louis depend on various case factors. The most significant factor is how many prior convictions you have. 

Here are the consequences for driving while under the influence in Missouri:

First-time Offense 

  • Up to six months in jail
  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • 30-day license suspension
  • 60-day restricted license

Second-time Offense

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Fines of up to $2,000
  • One-year license revocation
  • Minimum of six months with an ignition interlock device

Third-time Offense

  • Up to four years in jail
  • Fines of up to $10,000
  • Ten-year license revocation
  • Minimum of six months with an ignition interlock device

Do You Need a DWI Lawyer?

The decision to drink and drive is a split-second one. But that DUI mistake can negatively affect your life for years. At Rose Legal Services, we want to protect your future. We’ll work with you to reduce your charges and help you through the legal process.

If you’ve been charged with a DWI in St. Louis, Missouri, call a criminal defense lawyer at Rose Legal Services. Schedule a free consultation today, so we can get started on your case.

FAQs About the Legal Alcohol Limit in St. Louis

How do police officers test BAC levels?

Police officers can test your BAC levels in a variety of ways. One of the most common ways is to use a breathalyzer test. They can also order a blood alcohol test, in which they will draw a blood sample, collect it in a test tube and send it off to a lab. Or, they can use a chart to determine your BAC levels. 

Sometimes, police officers use field sobriety tests, which test a person’s physical abilities, such as walking or balancing.

What is the difference between a DUI and a DWI?

A DUI stands for driving under the influence, while a DWI stands for driving while impaired. In some states, these are different charges. However, in Missouri, DUIs and DWIs are interchangeable terms.

What is an interlock ignition device?

An interlock ignition device (IID) is a handheld breathalyzer for your vehicle. While you have an IID, you must test your BAC levels before you can start your car. The IID prevents you from driving until you use the breathalyzer.

Author Bio

Scott Rose, an experienced criminal defense lawyer and founder of Rose Legal Services, has been practicing law for over 20 years. He is dedicated to representing clients facing criminal charges and providing legal representation on various cases, including DWI, misdemeanor, and felony cases.

After graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law, he gained valuable experience working for a United States Senator and as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Chief Judge of a United States District Court. Throughout his legal career, W. Scott Rose has committed to providing high-quality legal representation to his clients, earning him a spot in the National Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

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