A senate committee has approved a measure that puts stricter limits on hardship licenses increases revocation times. When a person loses their license as a result of driving while intoxicated, they lose their license. In Missouri, it’s for for weeks. Federal requirements say it should be six “so that certain repeat offenders will not be eligible for a limited driving privilege until such person has completed the first 45 days of the revocation.”
Senator Bill Stouffer of Napton has a bill that would put Missouri’s intoxication-related traffic offenses in line with federal requirements, thereby preserving millions of dollars in federal funding for highways.
When Missouri drivers lose their license because of a DWI, they can get a hardship license, which lets them drive to — according to current law — a business, occupation or employment; medical treatment; school; alcohol or drug treatment programs; an ignition interlock provider for required service; and other circumstances the court or the department finds would create an undue hardship. Stouffer says the federal government says the courts can’t have that kind of flexibility in DWI cases … it’s the “other circumstances the court finds would create an undue hardship” the federal government doesn’t like. Stouffer’s law would remove that provision.
Stouffer’s bill would also increase community service hours required for repeat offenders.
Also, current law allows prior offenders to participate in and successfully complete a DWI court in lieu of jail time or community service. Federal law, however, does not authorize DWI courts as an alternative to mandatory jail or community service. Stouffer’s measure would let prior and persistent offenders avoid the minimum days of imprisonment by performing community service and completing a DWI court program, and the DWI court program or other treatment program must include a certain number of community service hours.