How Do DUIs and DWIs Differ in Kansas City, Missouri?

Kimberly2 1Author:

Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney

People arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Kansas City, MO will face a criminal DWI charge. Terminology represents the only meaningful difference between a DWI and DUI. Conviction on either charge will disrupt an individual’s life with license revocation, fines, and perhaps jail time.


Are DWI and DUI the Same Thing?

DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. Both phrases describe the criminal offense of driving a vehicle while intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Different states use different terms, but DWI and DUI essentially mean the same thing in Missouri. Law enforcement in Missouri charges people with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% with a DWI.


Per Se BAC

Missouri views a BAC of 0.08% as a per se BAC. Per se is Latin for “by itself.” Evidence showing that you had a BAC at this level is enough by itself to prove the charge against you. Even if this fact cannot be escaped, an attorney may still strive to defend you from the harshest penalties.


Aggravated BAC and Enhanced Penalties

Crossing the threshold into alcohol impairment and being seriously intoxicated are two different things. Missouri criminal statutes label a BAC of 0.15% or higher as an aggravating factor. The law authorizes harsher sentences for people convicted with an aggravated BAC.


Potential Defense Strategies

An attorney could suggest how to approach your DWI or DUI case. Defense strategies frequently hinge on technical details. For example, the evidence might indicate that an officer had no probable cause to make the traffic stop. The equipment used to test your breath, blood, or urine could also come under scrutiny. Faulty equipment could undermine the accuracy of the evidence against you.

Arguments that highlight your clean record or the fact that no harm was done could persuade a prosecutor to offer a lenient plea deal. At times, a person might have an affirmative defense, such as when someone unknowingly consumes an alcoholic beverage.


Convictions Have Consequences

Society has a strong interest in deterring people from driving after drinking or using drugs. A DWI or DUI charge places you at risk of going to jail and even losing your job. Your insurance premiums will be high once you get your license back. You will have a criminal record. All of these reasons motivate people to consult defense attorneys after a drunk driving arrest.

Don’t fight your case alone. Protect your future by having an expert attorney from the DWI lawyers in KC Mo​ by your side. Contact us today to get started. (816) 322-8008

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