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Sansone Law, LLC
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Sansone Law, LLC
Benjamin Sansone

7777 Bonhomme Suite 2250
Suite 2250
Clayton MO 63105
(800) 542-5384

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 Sansone Law, LLC

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Lawyer Benjamin Sansone  represents hundreds of clients every year who are charged with DWI or DUI in Missouri and Illinois.  Our focus is exhausting every defense available to our clients and not just getting a standard plea deal, this sets us apart from most lawyers who take DWI cases ( I say "take DWI cases" because most lawyers who take DWI cases are not DWI lawyers in my eyes.) Years of this practice has resulted in good results for our clients while protecting their record and driving privileges.

For more information about Benjamin Sansone and his practice please browse the rest of this site.  Contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION with Lawyer Benjamin Sansone or call anytime. 

FOR Recent CASE VICTORIES Please click here


The remainder of this page is directed to help you understand Missouri and Illinois DWI and DUI Laws:
Drunk driving cases are commonly referred to as either a DWI or a DUI. These terms are used interchangeably and the charges are the same under the law. We have represented hundreds of clients in Missouri and Illinois and been very successful in the following respects:

-   Preventing the criminal charges from appearing on your record;

-   Preventing or minimizing license suspension or revocation periods;

-   Preventing jail time (99% of our cases result in ZERO jail time);

In Missouri and Illinois it is illegal to drive with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of 0.08% or greater. This is commonly measured by a breathalyzer test. However, often people refuse to take a breathalyzer test and then the intoxication must be proven based upon the arresting officer's observations and the Field Sobriety Tests.

If you took the Breathalyzer Test:

Warning! Your license is at risk of being suspended or revoked if you do not take appropriate action within 15 days (45 in Illinois) of your arrest and your BAC was over the legal limit (.08%, age 21 or over; .02%, under age 21). It is vital that you contact us immediately for your FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION so we can protect your license to drive.

If you refused to take the Breathalyzer Test:

If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test you may be subject to a 1 year revocation of your license. This revocation can be prevented; however, we must act quickly to file a stay order preventing the revocation or summary suspension of your license.

In Missouri failure to submit to a breathalyzer test violates the Missouri Implied Consent Law, Missouri Statute § 577.020 and a presumptive 1 year revocation will take affect after 15 days. This presumptive revocation can be stopped and in most cases our clients do not lose their right to drive for a single day.



A first offense DWI is a class B Misdemeanor and if you are convicted the penalties are:

JAIL:  Up to a maximum of six (6) month jail.

FINE:  Up to $500.00. Court costs may also be between $10.00 and $100.00.

We prevent jail time in 99% of our cases and either have the case dismissed or arrange probation to keep the charges off your record and PREVENT A CONVICTION. PROBATION: Commonly the terms of probation are no drinking, do not break the law, and go to SATOP (Substance Abuse Traffic Offenders Program) and a VIP (Victims Impact Panel). Probation usually lasts 1 to 2 years and successful completion prevents a conviction.


Conviction of a second DWI within a five year period is a Class A misdemeanor.

JAIL:  Up to one (1) year in jail.

FINE:  Up to $1,000.00, plus court costs of between $10.00 and $100.00.


2 DWI offenses in 5 years classify you as a PRIOR OFFENDER and minimum jail time of 5 days is required under Missouri law. However, we can still prevent you from serving jail time despite this mandatory minimum requirement by substituting community service in place of jail.


We prevent jail time in 99% of PRIOR OFFENDER cases and either have the case dismissed or arrange probation to keep the charges off your record and PREVENT A CONVICTION for DWI.


PROBATION:  Commonly the terms of probation are no drinking, do not break the law, and go to SATOP (Substance Abuse Traffic Offenders Program) and a VIP (Victims Impact Panel). Probation usually lasts 1 to 2 years and successful completion prevents a conviction. For PRIOR OFFENDERS courts will add various special conditions of probation that we can discuss in our initial case evaluation.


Conviction of three or more DWIs within 10 years results may mean that the driver is deemed to be a PERSISTENT OFFENDER or CHRONIC OFFENDER and guilty of a Class D Felony. There will also be a 10 year denial of driving privileges if convicted.

JAIL:  Up to 5 years.

FINE:  Up to $5,000.00, plus court costs of between $10.00 to $100.00.

PROBATION:  Missouri law prohibits a SIS (Suspended Imposition of Sentence) for a felony DWI. The court may grant a SES (Suspended Execution of Sentence)

REVOCATION OF DRIVING PRIVILEGES:  Upon a third or subsequent criminal conviction for DWI, the defendant's driver's license is revoked for 10 years regardless of how old the two prior convictions are. These suspensions go on the person's driving record. If convicted of a felony DWI, no hardship license is available. If the DWI is a third, but not a felony, a hardship license may be applied for after 3 years. The court must also require that a person be restricted to driving a motor vehicle which has an ignition interlock device while on probation. The device costs $50.00-100.00 to install and $50.00-$75.00 per month to maintain.

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DUI Information

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"DUI" offense consists of driving under the combined influence of alcohol and other drugs. The drugs causing or contributing to the impairment need not be illegal, but can consist of lawfully prescribed or over-the-counter medication. Anti-drunk-driving advertising campaigns have aimed to raise awareness of the legal situation and the dangers of driving while intoxicated. Drunk-driving is responsible for a large number of deaths, injuries, damage and accidents every year.

The specific criminal offense may be called, depending on the jurisdiction, driving while intoxicated (DWI), driving while impaired (also DWI), operating while intoxicated (OWI), operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OMVI), driving under the influence [of alcohol or other drugs] (DUI), driving under the combined influence of alcohol and/or other drugs or drunk in charge [of a vehicle]. Such laws may also apply to boating, or piloting aircraft.

Historically, guilt was established by subjective tests of the driver's impairment, such as difficulty reciting the alphabet or walking a straight line, together with the arresting officer's subjective opinion. Starting with the introduction in Norway in 1936 of the world’s first per se law which made it an offense to drive with more than a specified amount of alcohol in the body, objective chemical tests have gradually supplemented the earlier purely judgmental ones.
Today's statutes commonly provide for two separate and distinct criminal offenses. The first is the traditional "drunk driving" offense, consisting of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Evidence to support this crime generally comes from the officer's observations (erratic driving, slurred speech, unsteady gait, etc.), performance on field sobriety tests, and a legal (and generally rebuttable) presumption of intoxication from a blood alcohol test result over the legal limit. The second offense is the more recent so-called "per se" offense: rather than focusing on impairment the crime consists entirely of having a given blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of driving, regardless of the individual's tolerance to alcohol. Both offenses may be charged, and the defendant may be convicted of both; if a blood alcohol test result was not obtained, only the traditional "DUI" offense will be charged.

BAC is most conveniently measured as a simple percent of alcohol in the blood by weight. It does not depend on any units of measurement. In Europe it is usually expressed as milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. However, 100 milliliters of blood weighs essentially the same as 100 milliliters of water, which weighs precisely 100 grams. Thus, for all practical purposes, this is the same as the simple dimensionless BAC measured as a percent. Since 2002 it has been illegal in all 50 US states to drive with a BAC that is 0.08% or higher.

Driving while consuming alcohol is generally illegal, though driving after drinking remains legal. In some jurisdictions it is also illegal for an open container of an alcoholic beverage to be in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle or in some specific area of that compartment.

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Do’s and Don’ts

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What to do if stopped for a DUI – Do’s and Don’ts

 DO :

·        Conduct yourself in a polite, courteous and cooperative manner.


·        Provide license, registration and proof of insurance when requested.


·        Invoke your right to remain silent.


·        Demand an immediate, private and free call to an attorney.


·        Ask for a sample of your blood, breath or urine to be preserved for an independent testing.


·        Invoke your right to obtain an independent chemical test of your blood or urine.


·        Contact us for a free case evaluation and to avoid an automatic driver's license suspension.





·        Don't perform any coordination, balance or eye tests.


·        Don't submit to a Portable Breath Test (A “PBT” is a portable, handheld breath testing device). A PBT is different than an Intoxilyzer – the actual machine that the officer may have you breath into later. You should contact an experienced DUI attorney to advise you whether you should submit to a later blood or chemical test.



·        Don't consent to a search of your person or your car.


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Arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

1) I've just been arrested for DUI. What happens now?

The officer is required by law to immediately forward a copy of the completed notice of suspension or revocation form and any driver license taken into possession, with a sworn report to the DMV. The DMV automatically conducts an administrative review that includes an examination of the officer's report, the suspension or revocation order, and any test results. If the suspension or revocation is upheld during the administrative review, you may request a hearing to contest the suspension or revocation.

You have the right to request a hearing from the DMV within 10 days of receipt of the suspension or revocation order. If the review shows there is no basis for the suspension or revocation, the action will be set aside. You will be notified by the DMV in writing only if the suspension or revocation is set aside following the administrative review.

2) At the time of my arrest, the officer confiscated my driver license. How do I get it back?

Your driver license will be returned to you at the end of the suspension or revocation, provided you pay (on or after January 1, 2003) a $125 reissue fee to the DMV and you file proof of financial responsibility. The reissue fee remains at $100 if you were under age 21 and were suspended under the Zero Tolerance Law pursuant to Vehicle Code §§23136, 13353.1, 13388, 13392. If it is determined that there is not a basis for the suspension or revocation, your driver license will be issued or returned to you.

3) The officer issued me an Order of Suspension and Temporary License. What am I supposed to do with this document?

You may drive for 30 days from the date the order of suspension or revocation was issued, provided you have been issued a California driver license and your driver license is not expired, or your driving privilege is not suspended or revoked for some other reason.

4) The Notice of Suspension that the officer gave me at the time of my arrest states I have ten days to request an administrative hearing. What is the purpose of this hearing and what can it do for me?

A hearing is your opportunity to show that the suspension or revocation is not justified.

5) For how long will my driving privilege be suspended if I took the chemical test?

If you are 21 years of age or older, took a blood or breath test, or (if applicable) a urine test, and the results showed 0.08% BAC or more:

  • A first offense will result in a 4-month suspension.
  • A second or subsequent offense within 7 years will result in a 1-year suspension.

If you are under 21 year of age, took a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test or other chemical test and results showed 0.01% BAC or more, your driving privilege will be suspended for 1 year.

6) Do I need a hearing to get a restricted license to go to and from work?

No. A request for a restricted license cannot be considered at the DMV hearing. You may apply for a restricted license to drive to and from work at any DMV field office.

7) The officer stated I refused to take a chemical test.  What does this mean?

You are required by law to submit to a chemical test to determine the alcohol and/or drug content of your blood. You did not submit to or complete a blood or breath test after being requested to do so by a peace officer. As of January 1999, a urine test is no longer available unless:

  • The officer suspects you were driving under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol, or
  • Both the blood or breath tests are not available, or
  • You are a hemophiliac, or
  • You are taking anticoagulant medication in conjunction with a heart condition.

8) How long will my driving privilege be suspended for not taking the chemical test?

If you were 21 years of older at the time of arrest and you refused or failed to complete a blood or breath test, or (if applicable) a urine test:

  • A first offense will result in a 1-year suspension.
  • A second offense within 7 years will result in a 2-year revocation.
  • A third or subsequent offense within 7 years will result in a 3-year revocation.

If you were under 21 years of age at the time of being detained or arrested and you refused or failed to complete a PAS test or other chemical test:

  • A first offense will result in a 1-year suspension.
  • A second offense within 7 years will result in a 2-year revocation.
  • A third or subsequent offense within 7 years will result in a 3-year revocation.

9) How is the DMV suspension or revocation for the DUI arrest different from the suspension or revocation following my conviction in criminal court?

The DMV suspension or revocation is an administrative action taken against your driving privilege only. The suspension or revocation following a conviction in court is a mandatory action for which jail, fine, or other criminal penalty can be imposed.

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Clayton MO Criminal Defense Attorney

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