Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

The Dangers of Driving While Intoxicated

Published on Jan 16, 2017 at 1:37 pm in Car Accidents.
The Law Office of Mike Campbell has joined forces with Thomas Law Offices as of September 1st, 2020. Click here for details.

In 2016, 933 people died on Missouri roadways due to automobile crashes and automobile accidents. In a recent blog I discussed how the numbers of traffic fatalities have rose sharply over the past several years and 2016 was no different. Unfortunately, there were sixty-six (66) more road fatalities in 2016 than there were in 2015. Even though that may not seem like a major leap, consider that there were nearly 170 more traffic fatalities on Missouri roads in 2016 than in 2014!

The numbers are rising and there are things we can all do to help. We already know about the dangers of distracted driving discussed in blog entry from a few months ago. Another major area of concern and contributor to Missouri traffic accidents and traffic collisions are those involving individuals who are driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (also known as “DUI/DWI”). According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly one in three traffic deaths involve a drunk driver. During a ten year period, the CDC discovered that 3,314 people were killed in Missouri crashes when they involved a drunk driver.

What Can Be Done?

Many people believe that merely having a few drinks then getting behind the wheel is safe, but consider that the legal limit in Missouri is .08% BAC. For anyone under the age of 21, the legal limit is .02%. Considering that it only takes a few drinks to get to these levels (and in some cases a single drink), everyone should appreciate the consequences of a DWI/DUI conviction and whether it’s worth the risk to get behind the wheel after drinking. Under Missouri law, as discussed in this blog, a DWI/DUI conviction can have long lasting effects.

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Taylor Petras from KMIZ (ABC 17) to discuss the consequences of a DWI/DUI conviction. As I explained in that interview, a first time DWI/DUI conviction in Missouri can potentially cost between $5,000 to $10,000, can lead to negative, lifelong consequences for someone’s ability to gain employment, and can lead to a permanent conviction on someone’s record. In most cases a DWI/DUI offender is required to attend classes, obtain special types of insurance, and some offenders are even required to put an ignition interlock on their car. If you are involved in a wreck and are found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then it’s possible that you may also face felony assault, manslaughter, or even murder charges. It’s just not worth it!

Businesses and their employees may also have some legal responsibility for serving individuals alcohol and allowing them to drive. Missouri law permits individuals to sue a “person licensed to sell intoxicating liquor…when it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that the seller knew or should have known that intoxicating liquor was served to a person under the age of twenty-one years or knowingly served intoxicating liquor to a visibly intoxicated person.” Employees of these businesses should know that they cannot be fired by their employer for refusing to serve a visibility intoxicated person!

We can all force ourselves to plan ahead, take the keys from a drunk friend, or refuse to serve a drunk patron at the bar. Each of us have the power to change the numbers and drive down the number of driving while intoxicated fatalities.

We Can Make Our Roads Safer!

Whether it’s distracted driving, driving under the influence, or driving while intoxicated, we all have safe choices to make to avoid automobile accidents and automobile crashes. As I stated in the KMIZ story on driving while intoxicated, there is no reason to drive while intoxicated when all someone has to do is push an app or call a taxi to get home. Most Missouri cities offer Uber and multiple taxi services, and some cities have now started offering free rides from police on major holidays. Our firm even offers a taxi giveaway every New Year’s Eve to help Columbia residents get home safe.

Recently, Jefferson City announced it would offer free citywide Uber rides on Inauguration Day. Fortunately, everyone is getting on board with the idea that we can all help to reduce traffic fatalities involving drunk drivers. Whether it’s New Year’s, or any day of the week, there are numerous opportunities for everyone to avoid getting behind of the wheel after they’ve had too much to drink! Take advantage of these opportunities and always consider the real and human costs involved with driving while intoxicated.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch anytime. Thomas Law Offices is on your side.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Legal & Firm News

Two Nurses Arrested in Ohio for Nursing Home Resident Neglect

In April 2022, Sunrise Manor nursing home’s director of nursing and assistant nursing director were arrested for allegations of patient neglect. Christina Drake and Jennie Elliott are being investigated following a criminal complaint filed in regard to an incident that occurred in April 2020. The two nursing staff members are facing multiple first-degree misdemeanor charges, […]

Read More

What Injuries Do Unattended Children Most Commonly Suffer?

It is a tragedy when a child is killed or injured in an accident that could have been prevented. Most of the time, it only takes one attentive adult to stop these tragic incidents from happening. The personal injury lawyers at Thomas Law Offices look at what injuries unattended children most commonly suffer and⁠—more importantly—how […]

Read More

What Injuries Can Result From Slamming on the Brakes?

No matter how safely you may drive, you will undoubtedly encounter situations in which you will have to take significant evasive maneuvers to avoid a car accident. While avoiding a motor vehicle crash is virtually always preferable to a collision, there are times when the evasive action can also cause harm.

Read More
Tad Thomas on The National Crime Victim Bar Association
Tad Thomas on AVVO
Tad Thomas on Lawyer Minds
Tad Thomas on American Association for Justice
Southern Trial Lawyers Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Ohio Association for Justice
Kentucky Justice Association
Tad Thomas on Attorney at Law Magazine
Tad Thomas on Attorney at Law Magazine
2021 Public Justice Member
AAJ Masters of Trial Law: Champion