Impaired Driving: The Sobering Facts

impaired driving alcohol prescription medications illicit drugs

Impaired Driving

There is no question that impaired driving is a serious safety risk on our roads. Consuming any substance, whether it is alcohol, prescription meds or illicit drugs, impacts driving skills. It slows reaction times and your judgment, makes drivers more aggressive and reckless, and causes extreme drowsiness, all of which can lead to car accidents.

Bottom line, the decision to drive while impaired is truly one of gross negligence. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident where the other driver was under the influence, contact the law office of Nash & Franciskato for a free, no-obligation review of your case.

What is Legally Drunk in Missouri

  • impaired driving alcohol test alcohol impacts driving skills serious safety risk slows reaction times car accidentsNon-commercial drivers age 21+ are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol (BAC) level is .08 or more.
  • Drivers of commercial vehicles are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .04 percent or more, which includes school bus drivers.
  • Drivers under 21 are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .02 or more.

In Missouri, the legal drinking age is 21. Missouri has a “Zero Tolerance Law,” which means that any driver under the age of 21 with a BAC of 0.02% or higher is considered legally drunk.

Responsible Behavior

Drunk driving accidents and fatalities are preventable and we can all save lives by driving responsibly.

  • Plan ahead if you plan to drink or are taking prescription medications that can affect your driving ability.
  • Do not let friends get behind the wheel if they have been drinking alcohol. Take their keys and call a taxi or ridesharing service.
  • If you are hosting a party where alcohol will be served, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
  • Always wear your seat belt.

Sobering Facts in Missouri

  • Substance-impaired driving contributed to 21% of all 2021 Missouri traffic fatalities.
  • In 2021, 215 people were killed and 672 seriously injured in crashes that involved at least one substance-impaired driver.
  • Many substance-impaired drivers are under the age of 21. From 2019-2021, there were 55 fatal crashes and 127 serious injury crashes involving a substance-impaired driver under the age of 21.

Source: Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety 

“In 2021, alcohol related fatalities slightly decreased but drug related fatalities have steadily increased over the last 10 years. Furthermore, new challenges have presented themselves in recent years such as the national opioid crises and increasing usage of marijuana among drivers. It is important for all Missourians to understand it’s never okay to drive impaired, regardless of the substance.”

Questions? Call us at (877) 284-6600.

More Sobering Facts Nationwide

  • Every day, about 32 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes, that is one person every 45 minutes. This is more than 10,000 lives lost each year to drunk driving.
  • In fatal crashes during the month of August over the five-year period of 2015-2019, 8% of the drunk drivers involved, with a BAC of .08 or higher, had one or more previous convictions for drunk driving.
  • Among the 10,142 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2019, 68% (6,872) were in crashes in which at least one driver had a BAC of .15 or higher.
  • Nighttime is a particularly dangerous time to be on the roads: The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2019 was 3.3 times higher at night than during the day.

Source: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Fact Sheet

Have You Been Involved in An Accident with Someone Under the Influence?

Have you been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident in which you suffered serious injuries due to the other driver being under the influence and legally drunk? Call Nash & Franciskato at (877) 284-6600. We have a successful track record of helping accident victims collect the compensation they deserve.

One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally and will provide you with a free, no-obligation review of your case.



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Past results afford no guarantee of future results and each case is different and is judged on its own merits. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published August 19, 2021. It was reviewed on November 14, 2022 and again on December 19, 2023 for content and accuracy. 

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