As is the case in the clear majority of other states, the legal limit in Missouri, is 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC). This is a measure of how much alcohol is in one’s system and, thus, how much one has had to drink over the last several hours. Kansas City residents should know by now that trying to drive with 0.08 or greater BAC is extremely dangerous behavior and can lead to a serious auto accident.
However, it is important for accident victims not to lose sight of the fact that 0.08 is in some sense a line in the sand; it is not some magic number in which a driver instantly goes from sober to drunk.
For instance, according to a recent analysis, a motorist at 0.05 BAC can in many if not most respects be just as dangerous as a driver who is legally drunk. They will likely experience some coordination problems and will also not be able to follow moving objects on the road well, including other vehicles. They may also find it hard to steer and will likely not react effectively to a sudden emergency on the road.
In short, they can easily cause a car accident or make one much worse than it otherwise would have been. For this and other reasons, some states are even considering, or have already implemented, a lower legal limit.
The important thing for accident victims to remember is that just because the other motorist was technically not legally drunk, their alcohol use may still have contributed to the accident. This would mean that the victim can seek to hold the motorist responsible for his or her negligent behavior.