License Suspension

In Missouri, there are many possible reasons a driver license is suspended, revoked or denied. There may be multiple reasons a license is not valid. Although there are differences between their specific definitions, each suspension, revocation or denial arises from one of the issues listed below.

An accumulation of excess points within a given period of time
In Missouri, there is a point system for traffic violations set out by the Missouri Department of Revenue. Each violation is assigned a specific point “value” and a driver who pleads guilty to that violation is penalized with those points on his/her license. When a driver accumulates a predetermined number of points, their license will be suspended. This is commonly referred to as a “point suspension.”

Typically, an accumulation of eight (8) points within 18 months results in a point suspension of 30 days for a first violation. Subsequent violations last longer. An accumulation of 12 points in 12 months results in a one (1) year suspension.

Reinstatement from a point suspension may require a driver to wait for the suspension period to end, post an SR-22 insurance filing, and/or pay a reinstatement fee.

 

A BAC of .08 or more (if over 21 years of age)
In Missouri, the legal limit for a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08. If a driver submits to a test of his/her breath, blood, or urine, and the results determine that person operated a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or above, their license may be suspended for 90 days for a first such offense (depending on whether they request a hearing and/or the outcome of that hearing). Subsequent BAC violations result in longer suspensions.

Reinstatement from a BAC suspension may require a driver to wait for the suspension period to end, post an SR-22 insurance filing, complete a SATOP program, and/or pay a reinstatement fee.

A BAC of .02 or more (if under 21 years of age) or a conviction for a minor in possession
In Missouri, the legal limit for a minor’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.02. If a minor submits to a test of his/her breath, blood, or urine, and the results determine that person operated a vehicle with a BAC of 0.02 or above, their license may be suspended for 90 days for a first such offense (depending on whether they request a hearing and/or the outcome of that hearing). Subsequent BAC violations result in longer suspensions.

Reinstatement from a BAC suspension may require a driver to wait for the suspension period to end, post an SR-22 insurance filing, complete a SATOP program, and/or pay a reinstatement fee.

A refusal to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test
In Missouri, every driver impliedly consents to a test of his/her breath, blood, or urine upon the reasonable request or a law enforcement officer if they believe you were operating a motor vehicle in an intoxicated or drugged condition. This is colloquially referred to as the “Missouri Implied Consent Law.” Failure to submit to such test may result in the revocation of driving privileges for one (1) year.

Reinstatement from a refusal revocation may require a driver to wait for the revocation period to end, post an SR-22 insurance filing, complete a SATOP program, and/or pay a reinstatement fee.

A conviction for a DWI or DUI or other alcohol related conviction
In Missouri, alcohol related convictions not only carry the penalty of points (as described above); they also carry the penalty of license denial for multiple offenses. First offense municipal court DWI or DUI convictions result in eight (8) points being added to a driver’s record. State court convictions, on the other hand, result in 12 points being added to a driver’s record for a first offense.

Second convictions may result in increased point penalties, but may also result in a denial of driving privileges for a certain number of years. Two (2) DWI or DUI convictions may result in a five (5) year license denial, while three (3) of the same convictions may result in a 10 year license denial.

Reinstatement from alcohol convictions may require a driver to wait for the suspension period to end, post an SR-22 insurance filing, complete a SATOP program, and/or pay a reinstatement fee. Second offenses may require the installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle the driver operates.

Reinstatement from a denial may require a driver to petition the circuit court of his/her residence for reinstatement. Such petition may not be granted without the driving posting an SR-22 insurance filing, installing an ignition interlock device with camera and GPS, and a showing that the driver’s habits and conduct no longer pose a threat to the public safety of Missouri.

Non-payment of child support
In Missouri, a parent who is supposed to receive child support, but is not receiving such support, may enlist assistance from the state in collecting such support. Failure to pay child support may result in a driver’s license being suspended.

Reinstatement from a child support suspension may require a driver to pay-off any child support arrearage due. While that may be done as one lump-sum payment, it is more often accomplished by entering into a payment agreement with Child Support Enforcement Services.

Non-payment of a judgment relating to an uninsured/underinsured automobile accident
In Missouri, a driver held responsible as a result of an automobile accident is required to pay the cost of the damages sustained by the other driver. This is generally accomplished through the driver’s automobile insurance. However, drivers without automobile insurance coverage, or drivers with insufficient coverage, may find their license suspended as a result of their inability to pay such damages.

This usually happens when an insurance company is forced to cover the damages sustained by their own insured driver who is not reimbursed for damages sustained in an accident caused by an uninsured or under-insured driver. That insurance company then may sue the uninsured or under-insured driver to recover the damages.

Once a judgment is entered, that insurance company contacts the Director of Revenue and asks that the uninsured or under-insured driver’s license be suspended until restitution is made to the insurance company who has stepped into the shoes of their driver (who they have already made whole).

Reinstatement from a judgment suspension may require a driver to pay-off any child support arrearage due. While that may be done as one lump-sum payment, it is more often accomplished by entering into a payment agreement with Child Support Enforcement Services. A reinstatement fee payable to the DOR may also be required.

A conviction for no proof of insurance
In Missouri, a conviction for failure to provide proof of financial responsibility, commonly called “no proof of insurance,” may cause the Department of Revenue to suspend a driver’s license.

Reinstatement from this suspension may require a driver to post an SR-22 insurance filing and a reinstatement fee.

Failure to appear or dispose of a previously issued traffic ticket
In Missouri, failure to appear in court or failure to pay assessed fines and/or court costs may result in a license suspension. The suspension may result after a court reports the driver’s failure to appear or pay to the Department of Revenue and requests that a suspension be issued against the driver’s license.

Reinstatement from a failure to appear suspension may require the driver to fully dispose of the matter in questions, obtain a letter from that city and send same to the DOR, and/or pay a reinstatement fee.

*Your right to receive a limited driving permit (often called a hardship license) upon being suspended, revoked or denied is strictly limited, not only in time, but also by the many conditions which either govern the issuance of a hardship drivers license or which prohibit the issuance of a hardship driver license. While applying for a hardship license is free, an experienced attorney can usually help ensure all your options for driving privileges are explored and can help explain the proper use and duration of your hardship license.

 

Depending upon the underlying circumstances of your suspension, revocation or denial, as well as the jurisdiction and the disposition of the police officer, sheriff or state trooper, if you are pulled over and found to be operating a motor vehicle while suspended, revoked or denied, or driving a motor vehicle outside of the conditions of your limited driving permit or hardship driver’s license, any one or more of the following consequences can be expected:

  • you will be arrested on the spot;
  • your car will be towed;
  • you will be given a traffic ticket for driving while suspended;
  • you will be in violation of your probation, if you are on probation;
  • you may be fined a maximum fine of $500, $1,000 or more, if convicted;
  • you may be jailed a maximum of 90 days, one year or more, if convicted;
  • your driver’s license will be suspended for a year, if convicted; and,
  • your limited driving permit or hardship driver’s license will be revoked.

Finally, if you have prior convictions for driving while suspended or you are pulled over by a Missouri State trooper (or at the discretion of the police officer of sheriff who pulled you over), you may be charged with a misdemeanor, or even a felony, driving while suspended.

Chris Dulle of the The Dulle Law Firm has helped hundreds of individuals in your situation obtain the reinstatement of their driving privileges or obtain a limited driving permit or hardship driver’s license.  Regardless of the reasons for your suspension, revocation or denial, Chris Dulle at The Dulle Law Firm has the experience, knowledge and skills to help you sort through all of the reasons for your suspension, revocation or denial, and then guide you through, step by step, the reinstatement requirements or procedures you must take in order to obtain the reinstatement of your driver’s license.

Don’t just pay your ticket!  Let me help you with your driving while suspended or revoked tickets.  I have handled those tickets throughout Missouri and will work to help you minimize the effect these tickets will have on you.

Please call me to discuss your case!  I want to help!  (314) 384-4000