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 medications, or illicit drugs, has an impact on your driving skills. It slows your coordination, judgment, and reaction times makes drivers more aggressive and reckless, and leads to extreme drowsiness, all of which puts everyone on the road in harm’s way.

Bottom line, the decision to drive while impaired is truly one of gross negligence.

Sobering Facts in Missouri

  • Substance-impaired driving contributed to 22% of all 2020 Missouri traffic fatalities.
  • Many substance-impaired drivers are under the age of 21. From 2018-2020, there were 48 fatal crashes and 126 serious injury crashes involving a substance-impaired driver under the age of 21.
  • 156 people were killed in 2020 traffic crashes that involved at least one alcohol-impaired driver

Source: Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety 

“While alcohol-related fatalities have declined, drug related fatalities have steadily increased over the last five 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 28 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes, that is one person every 52 minutes. This is more than 10,000 lives lost each year to drunk driving and about 1/3 of all traffic-related deaths.
  • 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

Legally Drunk in Missouri

  • Non-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.

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.


Have you been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident in which you suffered serious injuries due to another’s negligence? 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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