Who Can Be Held Responsible in Missouri Drunk Driving Accidents

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Have you been the victim of a drunk driving accident? It seems logical that the one who should be compensating you for those skyrocketing medical bills lost wages and pain and suffering would be the inebriated driver.

But, depending on the circumstances of your accident, there may be other parties that can be held responsible. An experienced car accident attorney can help make sure you obtain the compensation you deserve.

If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident in Missouri,

call us at (877) 284-6600.

Responsible Parties in a Drunk Driving Accident

When pursuing a claim, your personal injury lawyer will investigate the liability of all potential sources that may have contributed to your accident. As the victim in a drunk driving accident, you have the right to pursue compensation from all responsible parties.

Among those with potential liability are:

The one driving under the influence. The drunk driver is liable for the reckless behavior that caused the accident and his or her insurance company is typically the source of compensation for your claim. Your lawyer will want to find out if there are multiple insurance policies or if they can be stacked or if there is an umbrella policy that can be tapped.

The driver’s employer. Employers are liable for actions committed by their employees in the course of their employment. If the drunk driver was acting in accordance with his/her work responsibilities, the employer may be liable. Another scenario where an employer may be liable is after providing them with alcohol at a work-related event.

Bars and restaurants. Dram shop laws hold the individual or establishment who supplied the alcohol to the drunk driver responsible for injury compensation. In Missouri, that means owners of bars, taverns, and restaurants can face liability for serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person.

Currently, in Missouri, there is no civil liability for social hosts, which is someone without a liquor license who provides alcohol to guests at a social event such as a dinner party.

Others to consider:

  • Passengers, who invite other people into the drunk driver’s car knowing that he or she is intoxicated and failing to warn of this danger, may be held responsible.
  • Car owners who knowingly lend their cars to a driver who has been drinking can share the responsibility.

Your own insurance. In an accident with serious injuries, it is not uncommon for the damages to exceed the coverage limits of the other driver’s insurance policies. If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage under your own auto insurance policy, you could potentially recover from that.

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Effects of Blood Alcohol Concentration

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is a measurement of the percentage of alcohol that’s in your bloodstream after you’ve been drinking. As your BAC increases, so do the level of alcohol-related impairment you will experience.

At a level of 0.02, the lowest level of intoxication with some measurable impact, one starts to feel relaxed and a little warmer with some loss of judgment and altered mood. Behind the wheel, you have a decline in visual function and in the ability to perform two tasks at the same time.

At a level of 0.05, a person starts to have exaggerated behavior (speaking louder and gesturing more), loss of small-muscle control (such as focusing the eyes), impaired judgment, lowered alertness, and inhibitions. Behind the wheel, coordination will be reduced along with a reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, and a reduced response to emergency driving situations.

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Approximately 1/3 of all traffic crash fatalities in the U.S. involve drunk drivers with BACs of 0.08 or higher.

At 0.08, the current legal limit in the United States, a person’s muscle coordination becomes poor (balance, speech, vision, reaction time, hearing), it becomes harder to detect danger and one’s judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired. Behind the wheel, one will start to experience short-term memory loss, speed control, reduced information processing capability, and impaired perception.

At a 0.10 level, there is a clear deterioration of reaction time and control, one will have slurred speech, poor coordination, and slowed thinking. Behind the wheel, there is a reduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately.

Factors that affect BAC

  • Body size, physical condition, and gender
  • Medications you take
  • What you’ve eaten and when
  • How much sleep you’ve had
  • Alcohol content of your drinks

Questions? Contact us at (877) 284-6600.


If you have been seriously injured in a car or truck accident, call Nash & Franciskato at (877) 284-6600. We have a successful track record of helping accident victims collect the compensation they deserve.

In the Kansas City area and across Missouri, the Nash & Franciskato Law Firm will fight for your rights. Contact our legal team today at (877) 284-6600. One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally and will provide you with a free, no-obligation case evaluation.



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Find related blog articles: Automobile Accidents, and Trucking Accidents


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