Drunk driving crashes over the Fourth of July weekend result in death and injuries

The Fourth of July means many things to people: a celebration of our nation's independence, a day off from work, fireworks and family barbeques are some of the hallmarks of this uniquely American holiday. Unfortunately, the weekend closest to July Fourth also usually sees an uptick in drunk driving wrecks and fatalities. This year's Independence Day weekend was unfortunately no different.

To prevent injury Missouri Highway Patrol officers make nearly 200 DWI arrests

The Fourth of July holiday weekend this year started on the evening of July 3 and lasted through Sunday, July 8. With the holiday weekend lasting longer than usual, there were more violations of the state's laws against driving while intoxicated. According to the Riverfront Times, there were 199 drunk driving arrests during the course of the long weekend. During the same time, there were also 17 fatal vehicle accidents. The Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to more than 350 accidents during the Fourth and the days following it. In addition to the fatalities, 157 people were injured in car wrecks. Two of the wrecks accounted for eight of the deaths, with one accident killing a father, his three children and his girlfriend, while another accident claimed the lives of three men.

In addition to the arrests involving motorists, there were 17 boating accidents accounting for 11 injuries during the Fourth of July weekend. Police made 17 arrests for boating while intoxicated during the five day period.

DWI levels and offenses

In Missouri, to be convicted for driving while intoxicated, a driver must have a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 percent. If the driver is a minor, the blood alcohol content required for a conviction is 0.02 percent. The driver of a commercial vehicle can be convicted of an alcohol offense if his or her blood alcohol content is 0.04 percent.

There are two sets of laws dealing with the offense of driving while intoxicated: criminal law and administrative law. When a police officer tickets a driver for an alcohol offense and the driver is convicted, the court notifies the Department of Revenue of the conviction. The Department assesses points to the license of the convicted driver, and upon the accumulation of a certain number of points, the license can be suspended or revoked. A person who is arrested for driving while intoxicated is also subject to administrative law if his or her blood alcohol content is over the legal limit. Administrative regulations also lead to the suspension or revocation of the arrested person's driver's license.

Seek legal help after drunk driving accident

Drunk driving accidents are all too common. In America, over 25 people a day die as the result of drunk driving. If you have been injured or lost a family member as a result of a drunk driving accident, contact an experienced lawyer to discuss your rights. A Missouri attorney can explain the law as it applies to your case and help you determine which options you should pursue.