SS#2 SCS SB 934, 546, 578, 579 & 782 -- Intoxication-related Traffic Offenses

Sponsor: Caskey

This substitute makes a number of changes to laws concerning intoxication- related traffic offenses. In its major provisions, the substitute:

(1) Revokes the license of an offender who has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 if the offender is the proximate cause of a motor vehicle accident. The substitute also lowers the BAC for driving with excessive blood alcohol content from .10 to .08 if the offender was guilty of a moving violation (Sections 302.505 and 577.012, RSMo);

(2) Makes driving with an excessive blood alcohol content a class C misdemeanor. If the offender has caused a vehicle accident, it is a class B misdemeanor (Section 577.012);

(3) Suspends an offender's drivers license for intoxication-related offenses involving a BAC of .15 or greater. The period of suspension increases with the percentage of BAC. Limited driving privilege may be granted, upon condition of good cause and a program of assessment, treatment, community service, and restitution (Section 302.304);

(4) Adjusts the points assessed for intoxication-related offenses (Section 302.302);

(5) Creates the class of "aggravated driving offenders," which are offenders who have been convicted of 3 or more intoxication-related offenses within 15 years, one of which was a felony conviction. Aggravated driving offenders convicted of driving while intoxicated are guilty of a class C felony (Section 577.023);

(6) Prohibits suspending the imposition of sentence for prior and persistent offenders. The substitute changes the eligibility for parole or probation for prior offenders from a minimum prison sentence of 48 hours to 5 days, unless the offender performs 30 days of community service. Previously, offenders could avoid imprisonment by performing 10 days of community service (Section 577.023);

(7) Prohibits the consumption of an alcoholic beverage or possession of an open alcoholic beverage in a vehicle being operated on a public highway. An exception for certain tour buses and recreation vehicles is provided (Section 577.012); and

(8) Requires the impoundment or immobilization of vehicles owned by offenders who are convicted of a second or subsequent intoxication-related offense or the installation of an ignition interlock system for up to one year (Section 577.600).