In Missouri, a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge is a serious matter. If arrested for DWI, an individual could face severe consequences such as license suspension, fines and even possible jail time upon conviction. Following an arrest, the police will submit a report to the prosecutor, who then determines whether to file charges. If a person is convicted of their first DWI, they may need to obtain a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) to restore some of their driving privileges.
Driving privileges through a temporary permit
An RDP isn’t a full reinstatement of driving privileges, but rather a temporary permit. This allows the person to drive for specific, limited purposes, like commuting to work, school, medical appointments or court obligations. The permit is only valid for a specified time and under certain conditions.
Who is eligible for this privilege?
A person’s eligibility for an RDP after a first DWI offense depends on whether they consented to or refused the chemical test determining their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). If the person agrees to the test and their BAC exceeds the legal limit of 0.08 percent (or 0.02 percent for those under 21), the Department of Revenue (DOR) suspends their license for 90 days. At this point, they have two options to obtain an RDP:
- Option 1: Request an immediate 90-day RDP by installing an approved Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on their vehicle within 15 days of the arrest and file proof of insurance (an SR-22 form) with the DOR.
- Option 2: Wait for 30 days, then request an RDP without having to install an IID. However, they still need to file proof of insurance with the DOR.
If the person refuses to take the BAC test, the DOR revokes their license for one year. The person then has only one option to get an RDP: request it after serving 90 days of the revocation, install an IID on their vehicle, and file proof of insurance with the DOR.
Moving ahead with the process
A DWI charge can profoundly impact a person’s record. Not to mention, dealing with the aftermath can be intimidating and confusing. However, first-time DWI offenders may benefit from knowing that it is possible to restore some driving privileges through an RDP. This could be crucial, as driving is frequently necessary for accessing essential services or for livelihood purposes. As such, in petitioning for an RDP, individuals must remember to follow all the rules and steps meticulously during this process to move ahead with the process smoothly.