The holiday season is here, bringing it with it the promise of celebrations
with friends and loved ones. If your holiday plans include alcohol - even
in small amounts - we want to urge you to take precautions to help keep
Missouri roadways safe. In this post, our Joplin
car accident lawyers discuss a few little-known facts about drinking and driving.
Common questions about alcohol and its effect on the human brain:
Q: How many drinks does it take for a person to become impaired?
A: It depends on the person. Your blood alcohol content - and the rate
at which it rises - can be affected by several different factors, including
rate of consumption, weight, amount of fat tissue, and stomach contents.
Also, gender can play a role, since men and women process alcohol differently.
Suffice to say, under certain circumstances, an individual can become
severely impaired after having just a few drinks.
Q: Is it better to drink beer or wine as opposed to hard liquor?
A: The amount of alcohol you consume determines how impaired you are,
not the type of drink you're having. A 12 ounce beer, a 4 ounce glass
of wine, and 1.25 ounces of hard liquor have approximately the same alcohol content.
Q: How long does it take to sober up?
A: On average, a person will metabolize alcohol at the rate of about one
drink every hour after he or she has stopped consuming alcohol. Contrary
to popular belief, the only way to get sober is to wait: eating, showering,
or drinking coffee will not help you get sober any faster.
Here's the bottom line when it comes to driving under the influence
in Missouri (courtesy of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety):
- Impaired drivers contribute to approximately 30% of all Missouri traffic deaths.
- 223 people died and another 745 were seriously injured in 2013 Missouri
accidents involving an impaired driver.
- With a first drunk driving conviction, you can have your license suspended
for 90 days, pay up to $500 in fines, and be sentenced to as much as six
months in jail. If you're arrested again, you can lose your license
for a year, pay up to $100 in fines, and spend as long as a year behind bars.
- If you cause a fatal accident while driving under the influence in Missouri,
you may face a charge of involuntary manslaughter, a felony that carries
maximum penalties of $5,000 in fines, up to seven years in jail, or both.
- Under Missouri's zero tolerance law, drivers under age 21 will have
their licenses automatically suspended if they are caught with any alcohol
- even traces - in their system. All 50 states and Washington D.C. have
zero tolerance laws in place.
Again, if your holiday plans involve alcohol, we urge you to plan a safe
way home before you get started celebrating - designate a sober driver
or arrange a taxi. And if you see a loved one is planning to drive after
drinking, do everything in your power to keep them from getting behind
the wheel. Someone's life just might depend on it.
At Aaron Sachs and Associates, our personal injury lawyers represent the
victims of auto accidents in Joplin, Missouri and throughout the surrounding
areas, including Carthage, Webb City, Sarcoxie, Carl Junction, Lamar,
Pierce City, Noel, Anderson, Pineville and Goodman. If you'd like
more information about a
free initial consultation, please call us toll-free at 1-888-777-AUTO.
Attorney meetings by appointment only