July 16, 2019

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Missouri Alcohol Laws

Be sure to know the alcohol-related laws when you travel to a new area of the country; if you’re a resident of Missouri and find yourself in legal trouble, please contact a Missouri criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An experienced criminal defense attorney will explain your rights to you and advise you of possible penalties you may face if convicted of an alcohol-related offense in Missouri.

Sale of Purchase of Alcohol in Missouri

Just like all fifty states, Missouri has some very specific laws governing the sale and purchase of beer, wine and hard liquor (also referred to as “spirits). Spirits can be purchased at private retail stores with a liquor sale license, while beer and wine can be purchased in grocery and convenience stores. In Missouri, local ordinances dictate when alcoholic beverages can be sold, so these times will vary from area to area throughout the state of Missouri.

Working with Alcohol in Missouri

You must be 21 to drink in Missouri and to work as a bartender in a restaurant or bar. At the age of 18, you are permitted to work in a store that sells alcohol, and anyone 18 or over may handle alcohol in a retail store if no more than 50% of the store’s sales are from alcohol. At stores where an 18-year-old, 19-year-old or 20-year-old minor handles alcohol, a supervisor over the age of 21 must be present at all times. 

Open Containers in Missouri

Unlike most states, it is legal to drink from an open container when you’re the passenger in a moving vehicle. However, the driver of a moving vehicle cannot have an open container in his possession.

DUI in Missouri

Drinking and driving is serious business in Missouri, and the DUI laws in Missouri can be confusing. What is one way to avoid the confusion, stress and cost of a DUI? Don’t drink and drive in Missouri or anywhere for that matter, but if you do get charged with a DUI or DWI in Missouri, you will need a criminal defense attorney with experience in these difficult cases.

In Missouri, DUI is also known as DWI (driving while intoxicated). You will be charged with committing DWI if you operate a motor vehicle with 0.08 or higher blood alcohol concentration. Even if your BAC is under 0.08, you still may be charged with DWI if the police have enough evidence to prove that your driving was impaired due to alcohol consumption. If you are under the age of 21, you can be charged with DWI if your blood alcohol is 0.02.

DUI Penalties in Missouri

If convicted with a DUI in Missouri, you may face the following:

  • Up to six months in jail
  • Fines of up to $500
  • Full license suspension for 30 days and 60 days restricted after that

A second DUI offense may result in the following:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • License suspension for one-five years if the second offense was within five years of the previous offense
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device

A third DUI offense may result in the following:

  • Up to four years in jail
  • Fines of up to $5,000
  • License suspension for 10 years
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device

If you are charged with a DUI or DWI in Missouri, please contact a Missouri criminal defense attorney right away; if you’ve been charged with some other alcohol-related offense, you will need a Missouri criminal defense lawyer to represent you.

About Lynn Fugaro

Lynn has been writing web content since 2007 after a lengthy career as a middle school English teacher and administrator. Writing web content seemed a natural progression following a career teaching adolescents about the beauty and the power of the written word, and she quickly got hooked on the challenge of writing SEO- and reader-friendly content that could be found on Page 1 of Google and other search engines.

Having written content for physicians and attorneys for the first few years of her writing career, Lynn has most recently produced original, informative, entertaining, and relevant content for the entertainment industry, the automotive industry, senior communities, pet rescues and numerous other businesses hoping to increase website traffic and page views for all clients looking for informative, vibrant content.