DWI in St. Louis County – Driving?

What is “Driving” for Purposes of a DWI

Man in jeans carrying keys to his car

Driving?

Driving under the Missouri DWI Law?

Missouri Revised Statue 577.010 states that “A person commits the crime of “driving while intoxicated” if he operates a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition.”  Interestingly, the crime is of “driving while intoxicated” is defined as “operating” a motor vehicle while intoxicated or drugged, not by “driving”.  So what does “operating” mean?

Missouri Caselaw states that “Operating” is a broad term which the General Assembly did not define by statute; and the court goes on to state that “the General Assembly prompts us to apply the plain and ordinary meaning of the term which can be–and has been–defined quite broadly. ”  So while you may not be actually “driving” a car, you can still be cited for DWI and the court will have to decide if you were “operating” the vehicle, based on the particular facts of the case.

By:  Bill Floodman

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