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Many teenagers die in car accidents involving alcohol

The feeling of empowerment when teenagers reach the age at which they are allowed to drive is indescribable. Unfortunately, temptations to drink and drive are endless and often lead to car accidents with fatalities and/or severe injuries. Being aware of the laws in Missouri related to drunk driving may help drivers make smart choices and avoid legal problems.

Statistics show that approximately 1,900 teenagers die in car crashes caused by underage drunk drivers every year. It is sad that so many media reports about crashes involve alcohol, high speed, teenage drivers and multiple passengers. In many cases, the driver is the only survivor while friends who were along to join the fun pay with their lives.

Under Missouri law, the legal blood alcohol level for adults is .08 percent. The legal limit for underage drivers is zero. Even the slightest indication of the presence of alcohol in a teenage driver's blood can justify drunk driving charges that may also include vehicular homicide if a fatal accident is caused.

Being intoxicated while driving is no excuse for causing death or serious injuries in car accidents. Missouri teenagers -- and their parents, or any separate owner of the vehicle -- could face claims for financial responsibility for damages caused to passengers in their cars. Regardless of how strong the friendships between passengers and a driver is, injured victims or the families of deceased passengers may pursue claims for recovery of monetary damages sustained. Personal injury and/or wrongful death claims can be filed in a civil court, and upon proof of negligence, the court may award monetary judgments to cover documented financial and emotional losses.

Source: teendriving.aaa.com, "Underage Drinking", Accessed on June 10, 2016

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