Understanding Missouri Abuse and Lose Law

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Need help understanding Missouri abuse and lose law? Ozarks DWI Law Clinic can be of service to you. Schedule a consultation call today.

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Missouri Underage Drinking Laws

The legal drinking age in Missouri is 21. Anyone below the prescribed age limit cannot possess, buy, or even attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages. If a minor violates this rule, they may be charged with a misdemeanor, which is punishable by fines and possibly even jail time in some cases.

Crimes involving underage drinking and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are taken very seriously in Missouri. The state has enacted many laws and regulations to reduce instances of drinking and driving. One such law is the Missouri abuse and lose law.

Missouri legislated the DWI abuse and lose law to deter anyone under 21 from operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Violations of this law are punishable by compulsory driver’s license suspensions.

You may be charged with operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol or other controlled substances. A knowledgeable attorney can assist you in avoiding criminal penalties and a criminal record. If you have any additional questions or would like any advice, Ozarks DWI Law Clinic can help!

What Is Missouri’s Abuse and Lose Law?

The abuse and lose provisions laid down in RSMo Section 302.400 state that you may have your driver’s license suspended if you are under 21 and found guilty of any of the following offenses:

  • Alcohol-related traffic offense.
  • Offenses involving alcohol possession or consumption while operating a motor vehicle.
  • Offenses involving the use or possession of drugs.
  • Any offense involving a driver’s license that has been altered, modified, or falsely represented.
  • A second offense involving the use or possession of alcohol by a person under the age of 18 age.


Penalties for Violating the Abuse and Lose Law

Anyone found guilty of violating Missouri’s abuse and lose law faces a driving license suspension. The period of license suspension or revocation will vary depending on whether the offense was a first-time or repeat offense.

First Offense: If you are a minor and are found guilty of violating this provision for the first time, then your license will be suspended for 90 days.

Second Offense: A second or subsequent offense may cause your license to be revoked for a period of one year.

Suspension v. Revocation of Driver’s License

The termination of driving privileges is referred to as a driving license revocation in Missouri. As a result, driving privileges may be suspended for a year or longer.

On the other hand, a license suspension results in a temporary loss of driving privileges. If you adhere to the conditions outlined by the Missouri Department of Revenue, it could be possible to get your license reinstated.

Hardship License

Having your driver’s license suspended or revoked is highly inconvenient. It is possible to have your driver’s license reinstated. You can also obtain a hardship license, known as a limited driving privilege (LDP) in Missouri, during the suspension or revocation term. It permits you to drive to specific locations to fulfill commitments relating to your job, school, healthcare, child care, or the law.

Lawyers from Ozarks DWI Law Clinic can assist you in applying for a hardship license.

Reinstatement of a Driver’s License After Revocation or Suspension

To reinstate your suspended or revoked driver’s license, you must:

  • Pay a license reinstatement fee. This fee can be paid online using a debit or credit card.

  • Provide Substance Awareness Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) or a comparable program’s completion form.

  • Provide an SR-22 Form. This serves as proof of insurance. The document shows your motor insurance policy meets the minimum liability coverage mandated by the state law.

Additional requirements: Installation of an ignition interlock device may be required if you are a repeat abuse and lose offender with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit exceeding 0.02%. You may also need to pass a driver’s examination to reinstate your license if it has been revoked for at least 1 year. 


How Long Does it Take to Get Your License Reinstated?

You must first comply with all the requirements as stated above. Upon fulfillment of all the obligations, your license can be reinstated after you serve the suspension period.

Can I Have the Abuse and Lose Action Removed From My Driving Record?

A criminal record against your name, especially if you are under 21, can have severe repercussions on your life. A criminal history can impact your ability to find employment and qualify for loans. It can also negatively affect your ability to enroll in educational institutions. Therefore, a clean driving record is essential.

Any Missouri abuse and lose violation can only be erased after five years from the date of license reinstatement. You must submit a written request to the Driver License Bureau to apply for removal.


Can a Lawyer Help Me With an Abuse and Lose Case?


The consequences of abuse and lose convictions are serious. If you are facing an underage DWI charge, consider contacting a knowledgeable and skillful attorney in the area in which the DWI charge was issued.

A DWI lawyer can assist you in reinstating your Missouri driver’s license. They can also help you apply for a hardship license, reduce the charges, or get them dropped entirely in certain situations.

How Ozarks DWI Law Clinic Can Assist You

Underage drinking is strictly prohibited and frequently calls for a strong defense. Dedicated and determined lawyers from Ozarks DWI Law Clinic can fight tirelessly to protect your rights in DWI and drug-related offenses. Our experienced team of lawyers can assist you with any DWI matters, from DUI defense strategy to license revocation issues. We can also advise you on the consequences of driving with a revoked license.

We can help you with your legal issues and also try to keep the charges off your driving record. We do this by:

  • Offering legal advice 

  • Analyzing the case 

  • Establishing a defense strategy 

  • Negotiating plea deals 

  • Advocating for you in court

  • Supporting license suspension hearings

We practice in Ozark, Greene County, Christian County and now also provide services in Springfield and Greater Southwest Missouri. Schedule a free initial consultation with us to discuss your DWI case today!