Drug and Alcohol Laws in the State of Missouri
To protect its citizens from the dangers of drugs and alcohol, Missouri has a lot of laws related to these substances. In Missouri, you cannot sell or possess controlled substances. You also cannot legally operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
To get a better understanding of the rules in this state, check out this brief overview of drug and alcohol laws in Missouri.
DUI Laws in Missouri
Missouri is serious about drinking and driving. If you get caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, you lose your license for 90 days, but you may be eligible for restricted privileges.
For a 2nd DUI, the state revokes your license for 90 days, but if the 2nd charge is within 5 years of the 1st offense, you lose your license for 5 years. A 3rd DUI leads to losing your license for 10 years. You also get points on your license and face criminal penalties.
The laws are stricter for professional drivers. Commercial drivers get 2 points on their license and lose their commercial driving privileges for 1 year if they have a BAC of 0.04% or higher.
Zero-Tolerance Laws for Missouri
In Missouri, drivers under the age of 21 are subject to a zero-tolerance laws. If caught driving with a BAC over 0.02%, these drivers can face DUI charges and lose their licenses.
Drivers in this age group can also lose their driving privileges for the following:
- All alcohol-related traffic offenses.
- Possessing alcohol while operating a vehicle (even if they have not consumed the alcohol).
- Altering a driver license. For example, changing the date on a license so that you look older.
- Possessing alcohol.
- Purchasing or trying to purchase alcohol.
- Being visibly intoxicated.
Is Marijuana Legal in Missouri?
Recreational marijuana is not legal in Missouri, but at the end of 2018, the state legalized medical marijuana. To get a prescription, you must have a qualifying condition such as cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, IBS, seizures, and several others.
Patients may purchase up to 4 ounces every 30 days, and they can grow up to 6 plants in a closed and locked facility in their homes.
Drug and Alcohol Related Crimes
Possessing, selling, or trafficking illegal drugs in Missouri is a crime. The state has a long list of laws related to drug and alcohol crimes. Here are just a few:
- Supplying liquor to a minor or to someone who is already intoxicated
- Unlawful use of a weapon while intoxicated.
- Aggravated DWI.
- Persistent DWI.
- DWI with a passenger under 17 in the vehicle.
- Drug trafficking.
- Endangering the welfare of a child with drugs.
- Unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Distributing controlled substances near schools.
- Possession of meth, cocaine, heroin, and other controlled substances.
- Possession of the precursors (ingredients) of meth.
Penalties for Drug or Alcohol Abuse in Missouri
The penalties for committing drug and alcohol related crimes in Missouri vary based on the type of drug, the amount, prior convictions, and several other factors. Here is a look at some of the penalties:
- Distributing less than 5 grams of marijuana is a class C felony and can be punished by up to 7 years in prison.
- Possessing any illegal drug besides marijuana is a class C felony. Penalties include up to 7 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- Distributing any other drugs is a class B felony, and if convicted, you can face up to 15 years in prison.
- Distributing drugs (besides less than 5 grams of cannabis) within 2000 feet of a school is a class A felony, and you may face life in prison.
Although medical marijuana is legal in Missouri, you cannot legally possess cannabis without a prescription. However, as of 2017, the state reduced the penalties for these crimes:
- Up to 10 grams is an infraction, with a penalty of a fine of $250 to $1000 for the first offense.
- Between 10 grams and 35 grams is a class A misdemeanor, with a penalty of a fine up to $2000 and up to 1 year in prison.
- Over 35 grams (1.25 ounces) is a felony, with a penalty of up to 7 years in prison and a $5000 fine.
In Kansas City, if you have less than 35 grams, the fine is only $25 and you cannot face jail time.
As you can see, Missouri treats drug offenders very seriously. Even for small amounts of cocaine or other drugs, you can face big fines and significant time in jail. To protect yourself, you need to live a drug-free life.
Worried about your drug or alcohol use? Get help before you face legal action. To learn more about your options, contact a treatment center in your local area today.
- Missouri Department of Revenue. (n.d.). Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
- Missouri drug laws. (n.d.)
- Missouri judiciary criminal system selected alcohol and drug related charges filed and disposed fiscal 2018
- NORML. (n.d.). Missouri medical marijuana law – Working to reform marijuana laws
- Nunley, K. (2019, September 5). Missouri marijuana laws: Recreational vs. medical legalization
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