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What’s the Difference Between a Kansas DUI Charge & a Missouri DWI Charge?

A DWI (driving while intoxicated) and a DUI (driving under the influence) are both serious charges. Many people wonder if they are different, but technically, they refer to the same offense.

What determines what you are charged with is what state you are in. For example, in Kansas, you are charged with a DUI. In Missouri, it’s a DWI. Keep in mind, there are some states that have an entirely different name for it – an OUI, which is operating under the influence. While there are many different names, they all relate to the same thing – a driver who is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The Drinking and Driving Charge

One of the most important things you need to remember is that if you are charged with a DUI or a DWI, it doesn’t just refer to driving after consuming alcohol. These charges also apply to someone who is driving while under the influence of drugs. This is true for both states – Missouri and Kansas.

Sometimes, if a person is charged with these they are referred to as being “in a drugged condition” or “under the influence of drugs.”

Potential Penalties for DUIs and DWIs

Another difference in DUIs and DWIs are the penalties you face, which is dependent on the state where you are charged.

Missouri DWI

A first-time Missouri DWI is a B misdemeanor, carrying up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $500, and the suspension of your driving privileges for 90 days.

The 90-day suspension will be a 30-day suspension, followed by a 60-day restricted driver’s license for the limited purpose of driving in connection with employment, education, alcohol treatment, or ignition interlock provider.  In the alternative you may be eligible for an immediate 90-day restricted driving privilege if you install an approved ignition interlock device.  However, a refusal to take a blood, breath or urine test results in an automatic one-year revocation of one’s license.

Kansas DUI

If you are facing a first time DUI in Kansas, it’s a class B, nonperson misdemeanor. You can be sentenced to a minimum of 48 consecutive hours and no more than six months behind bars. You will also have to pay a fine between $750 and $1,000. This sentence may also come with house arrest after you serve the 48 hours behind bars.  You will also lose your driving privileges, and the suspension time depends on if you take or refuse a blood, breath or urine test.

If you submit to a blood, breath or urine test, and the results are between .08 and .149 your driving privileges will be suspended for 30 days and then you will be required to install an ignition interlock device for 180 days.  However, if the results are .150 or higher your driving privileges are suspended for one year followed by a one-year restriction to only driving a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device.  But if you refuse to take a blood, breath or urine test your driving privileges will be revoked for one year, followed by two years of driving with an ignition interlock device.

Handling Missouri DWI and Kansas DUI Charges

Keep in mind, the above penalties are only for first-time offenders. Each DUI or DWI you receive comes with additional, more serious penalties.

If you find yourself facing these charges, in either Kansas or Missouri, it’s best to hire legal representation to provide you with the legal services you need. Don’t wait to seek legal representation, as they can help ensure your rights are protected and that you get the lightest sentence possible for the situation you are facing.


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