Missouri Abuse and Lose
Missouri has strong laws regarding alcohol and other serious traffic offenses. If you’re under 21, Missouri’s “Abuse and Lose” laws apply.
The statute is Section 577.500.1 and consists of two sections:
Under the first section, the Abuse and Lose law authorizes suspension or revocation of driving privileges if a person under 21 has committed any alcohol related traffic offense, any offense involving possession or use of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle, any offense involving possession of a controlled substance (drugs) or any offense involving the alteration, modification or misrepresentation of a license to operate a motor vehicle.
The length of suspension or revocation varies depending on whether it was a first offense or not. For a first offense, the period of suspension is 90 days. An arrest for a second or subsequent offense results in a one year loss of license privileges.
Under the second suspension, a person under 21 can have their license suspended or revoked for any offense involving the purchase, attempted purchase or possession of an intoxicating liquor by a minor or a minor in a visibly intoxicated condition, if the juvenile was over the age of 15 at the time of the offense.
Suspension is for 30 days for a first offense, 90 days for a second offense and a year for a third or subsequent offense.
As with other alcohol related traffic offenses, for your driver’s license to be reinstated, you have to pay the required fee and completed a substance abuse program such as the Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program, commonly known as SATOP.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to get a limited driving privilege for getting to and from school, for doctor visits and for work.
Here’s a link to the DMV’s FAQ about Abuse and Lose: http://dor.mo.gov/faq/drivers/abuse.php
If you’re under 21 and have been charged with an alcohol related traffic offense such as DWI / DUI or Minor in Possession call our office right away. We understand this can be a confusing and scary experience. Knowing your rights and having an experienced lawyer on your side is crucial.