Buzzed Driving vs. Drunk Driving

Buzzed driving, drunk driving - both are morally wrong and unsafe. You shouldn't do either, both endanger the lives of those around you and your own. While it's technically not illegal to drive buzzed so long as your blood alcohol content is under the legal limit, it's still not smart. Our DWI lawyers at the Lake of the Ozarks know how bad these cases can be and we want you to think twice before operating a vehicle while intoxicated. If you've received a DWI, call Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter, and Welch for your free consultation. Keep reading for a description of both buzzed and drunk driving, the differences between the two, legal punishments for drunk driving, and skilled legal representation at the Lake of the Ozarks.


Buzzed Driving vs. Drunk Driving

Buzzed Driving

Technically, you are buzzed if you are at a blood alcohol concentration level of anything from .01 to .07, in the state of Missouri. Therefore, if you choose to drive while in that stage you are buzzed driving.

Drunk Driving

In the state of Missouri, you are drunk driving if you are driving while under the blood alcohol concentration level of .08 or higher.

What's the Difference?

The main differences are the levels of alcohol you have consumed and its illegal to drive drunk, it's not illegal to drive buzzed. However, you're still not your most functional self when buzzed either, so you absolutely should NOT drive buzzed because the dangers of getting into a car accident and causing injury to yourself or others is still a real possibility.


Punishments for Drunk Driving

According to the Missouri Department of Revenue:

First Convictions

  • "First conviction for excessive blood alcohol content (BAC)"
  • "First conviction for driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs (DWI)"
  • "A first-time DWI or BAC conviction results in a 90-day suspension. You may be eligible for a Restricted Driving Privilege (RDP)."

"NOTE: If you are convicted of operating a commercial motor vehicle while your alcohol content is .04 percent or higher, 2 points will be assessed to your Missouri driver record and you will be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for one year."

Multiple Convictions

"If you are convicted of a second intoxication-related traffic offense, regardless of the length of time between convictions, you will normally receive a 1-year revocation for accumulation of points. If you are convicted a second time for an alcohol- or drug-related offense within a five-year period, you may also receive a 5-year license denial."

"If you are convicted three or more times of an intoxication-related traffic offense, you will receive a 10-year license denial."


Skilled Legal Representation at the Lake of the Ozarks

The DWI attorneys at At Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter and Welch are not afraid to fight for your rights. Our Camden County attorneys know that every criminal defense case is different and that you may feel like the system is against you. For every case, we:

  • Take into account the individual needs of the client. 
  • We quickly get information.
  • Advise the client of his or her rights. 
  • Work diligently to achieve the goals of the client. 

We know when to negotiate, when to go to trial, and when to be aggressive. For a free consultation on your recent DWI charge, call Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter, and Welch at 573-346-7231.



Law Offices of Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter, & Welch, P.C.
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