Drunk Driving Accidents and Lawsuits

According to a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report, the average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before they are caught. It is reported that drunk driving accidents injure one person every two minutes. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Commission also reports that 2 out of 3 people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime. These alarming statistics are a cause for concern and correction.

“In 2013, a total of 1,149 children 14 and younger were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Of those 1,149 fatalities, 200 (17%) occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.”- The National Traffic and Highway Safety Commission. Allowing this much needles harm to our children requires a much greater effort to fix.

Missouri Drunk Driving Laws

The State of Missouri prohibits anyone from driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in excess of .08. The criminal fines and punishment range from:

  • 1st Offense:  Up to 6 months in jail, fines up to $500.00, a license suspension of 30 days, and the possibility of having the ignition interlock device placed on your vehicle.
  • 2nd Offense:  Up to 1 year in jail, up to $1,000 fine, a license suspension of 1 year, and the ignition interlock device placed on your vehicle.
  • 3rd Offense:   Up to 4 years in jail, up to $5,000 fine, a 10 year license suspension, and the ignition interlock device placed on your vehicle.

These criminal laws also go hand in hand with a set of civil laws designed to reimburse the victim for their harms and losses, as well as send a message to the community that this will not be tolerated. The Missouri Department of Revenue has a great deal of information on drunk driving laws in Missouri.

Drunk Driving Lawsuit For Injuries

Missouri laws mandates that drunk drivers pay the victim for all of their accident related damages. These will include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, pain, suffering, inconvenience, and any other accident related damages. A lawsuit against a drunk driver will also carry with it a special set of damages called ‘punitive damages’. Punitive damages are designed to punish the at fault driver and deter them from driving under the influence again in the future. Through this punishment, the community is allowed to tell others the cost of similar behavior.

If you have have lost a loved one as the result of a drunk driver, you are entitled to bring a wrongful death claim to seek reimbursement for your loss. A drunk driving wrongful death claim will provide money for medical expenses, burial expenses, lost wages of the deceased, and certain other wrongful death damages. The time limit for bringing a claim for wrongful death is much shorter in Missouri (3 years) than a personal injury victim suing on their own behalf for injures (5 years).

The Dixon Injury Firm is honored to have helped so many drunk driving accident victims fight for financial security after a crash. Our aggressive and compassionate legal representation has helped recover over $35,000,000 for injury victims through judgments, verdicts and settlements. Call 314-409-7060 to discuss your drunk driving personal injury case with an attorney.

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Reach out to Chris Dixon for personal injury, workers compensation, product liability, and other legal services for experienced, reliable counsel and representation in St. Louis.

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