Alcohol impacts critical judgment skills that are mandatory for safe driving—and drunk driving accidents frequently end in tragedy. If you or a loved one suffered because of someone else’s recklessness, you may not know what your options are. Don’t hesitate to ask a Kansas City DUI attorney about what legal steps you should take to seek justice.
Effects of Alcohol Use on Driving Ability
Not only does alcohol make drivers drowsy and impair coordination, but alcohol can also impact multiple aspects of perception. Driving is a multitasking behavior that requires an individual’s full cognitive ability to avoid accidents and correct minor mistakes.
The effects of alcohol on driving vary depending on the level of blood alcohol concentration, or blood alcohol content (BAC). With a BAC level of .02 percent—when some people say they’re “buzzed”, not “drunk”—driving is still manageable, but the motorist may experience:
- Difficulty following visual targets
- Problems with multitasking
- A slightly slower reaction time
By the time drivers reach a BAC level of .05 percent, they may start to struggle with the ability to visually track objects, and experience decreased coordination. This means it's challenging to control the vehicle in emergency situations.
At a BAC level of .08 percent—which Missouri law defines as legally intoxicated—these changes start adding up. Motorists have trouble maintaining a consistent speed, and develop impaired perception, which makes accurate driving difficult. They also lose the ability to process information correctly, as well as muscle coordination.
Past this level, driving becomes dangerous. The driver often veers into other lanes and loses the responsiveness to brake effectively. These behaviors contribute to drunk driving accidents.
Your Options After a Drunk Driving Accident
Paying for car repairs on top of medical bills for your injuries can be overwhelming. If the accident evidence proves the negligent driver was drunk, you could sue for significant compensation.
Since Missouri is a no-fault state, you should be automatically compensated by insurance. However, this compensation may not always be enough to pay for all the damages you suffered. You may be struggling with long-term medical bills and lost earning capacity. It’s worth your time to secure your physical and financial recovery with the help of a skilled attorney. Depending on what happened, they may also include pain and suffering in your compensation claim.