KAISER / LAWLESS, LLP
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Practice Notes

Recent Court Decisions & Updates

Eastern District Decides: Your drivers license can be revoked for driving drunk on a private road

Lane Williams v. Director of Revenue (ED100862)

THE FACTS:

 At the time of her DWI arrest, Lane Williams had been driving on a private driveway until she ran her car off the road and crashed it. As a result, she was arrested for DWI and the Department of Revenue sought to suspend her drivers license. Ms. Williams fought the department's decision, and the trial court set aside the license suspension determining that "a vehicle must be operated on a highway" for the statute to apply.

On October 21, 2014, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District overturned the trial court's decision, finding that: Nothing in the law suggests that a DWI can only be issued on public roadways and respondent was driving a vehicle  intended for highway driving. 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?  The Department of Revenue can attempt to suspend your drivers license even if you are driving on a private road.

WHY DOES THIS MATTER?

It happens more often than we'd like to admit.  After a few drinks, a person will get behind the wheel and make a short trip down the road - maybe to a friend's house, maybe to pick up a quick meal. For those of us living outside the city, backroads and private drives are easy shortcuts that keep us off of law enforcement's radar. However, as Ms. Williams' case shows us, one too many drinks and a banged up car can result in a DWI arrest and suspension of your drivers license, even when you are driving on private roadways.

Being arrested for DWI can have real consequences on your everyday life.  If the Department of Revenue suspends your license, it can prevent you from getting to work, taking your kids to appointments, or accomplishing routine, everyday tasks.  There are many ways to prevent this, but the law gives you limited time to fight the license suspension. If you don't act quickly, that opportunity is lost.

If you have been arrested for DWI or DUI, contact the Kaiser Law Office today and discuss your options.  Tel. (816) 645-5799. Email: attorney@kaiserlawkc.com