Abuse and Lose


Information provided on this page is for educational use only. Accessing this page does not give rise to an attorney-client relationship, and the information provided should not be regarded as legal advice. Laws of the State of Missouri are subject to change, and there is no warranty, express or implied, that the information included on this page is still accurate at the time of access. Please consult a licensed Attorney to discuss the specifics of any legal matter. Attorneys at Cline, Braddock & Basinger can be reached at (573) 443-6244

State of the Law

In addition to criminal penalties for possession of drugs or alcohol, the State of Missouri includes civil penalties such as suspension or revocation of driving privileges for violations committed by a person under twenty-one (21) years of age. See 577.500 RSMo; and 302.505 RSMo.

The offenses covered by the Abuse and Lose include:

  1. Driving with a B.A.C. of .02% or more by weight. (the legal limit for twenty-one or older is .08%); or
  2. Possession of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle; or
  3. Possession of alcohol in violation of State Law or second ordinance offense (even if not operating a vehicle); or
  4. Possession of a controlled substance (even if not operating a vehicle); or
  5. Possession of a false or modified identification.

License Suspension

Potential license suspensions or revocations depend on a number of factors. Factors range from the way the specific offense is charged to the probable cause for the stop. Even in cases of an offense included in the abuse and lose laws, a skilled attorney can often work to avoid the civil effects on your driver's license and keep you on the road.

For offenses listed under numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5 of the above section, the first offense will result in a ninety (90) day license suspension. A second offense will result in a one (1) year license revocation.

For offenses related to State Law violations of alcohol or second city ordinance offenses, but not involving operation of a motor vehicle, the first offense results in a thirty day license suspension. A second offense results in either a ninety (90) day suspension or one (1) year revocation. A third offense results in a one (1) year revocation.

How Do I Get My License Back?

In order to reinstate your driver's license after an Abuse and Lose suspension or revocation, you will need to:

  1. Pay a reinstatement fee. ($45 as of this writing)
  2. Complete a Substance Abuse Traffic Offender program.
  3. Complete a driver examination. (only for 1 year revocation - no exam requirement following 30 or 90 day suspension)
  4. Maintain ignition interlock. (if second BAC over .02% while operating vehicle)
  5. Maintain SR-22 Insurance (if second BAC over .02% while operating vehicle)

Your Legal Rights!

Remember: You have a Constitutional right to the assistance of an attorney to defend against a minor in possession charge! An experienced attorney will be able to determine:

  1. Whether your acts in fact violated the law or ordinance in your Jurisdiction;
  2. Whether your constitutional rights to be free of unreasonable search and seizure were respected;
  3. Whether your drivers license is at risk, and what can be done to protect it;
  4. Whether you are entitled to an affirmative defense excusing you from liability; and
  5. Whether despite guilt you are entitled to probation in lieu of conviction and thereby clean criminal record.

Attorneys at Cline, Braddock & Basinger are ready to assist you. It is our hope that you find these materials useful. When you are ready contact our offices to schedule a free appointment!


All situations are unique and deserve one-on-one attention. Call me or stop by for a free consultation to discuss your specific case. — Christopher Braddock, Attorney at Law

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