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Arrests after drunk driving accidents might not be enough

If a drunk driver gets behind the wheel of a car, everyone on the road is in danger. When drunk driving accidents in Missouri or elsewhere occur, the impaired drivers are often arrested at the scenes and charged. However, for the seriously injured and the families of victims who die in these crashes, arrests might not be enough.

On a recent Thursday afternoon, a 67-year-old woman was recently arrested in the aftermath of a crash in which police believe she was intoxicated. Preliminary reports show that the woman's vehicle was traveling eastbound on Highway 60 around 1 p.m. As it approached Highway PP, the vehicle slammed into the back of another vehicle.

The impact caused the victim's vehicle to careen off the highway and flip. The 68-year-old man who was driving the vehicle succumbed to the injuries he suffered in the crash. The woman driving the other vehicle refused medical treatment.

However, under Missouri law, she was not able to refuse undergoing on-site testing to determine whether she was impaired. The results of those tests led officers to arrest the woman. She is facing a charge of involuntary manslaughter and was released on her own recognizance. The Missouri State Highway Patrol did an accident reconstruction to aid in the investigation.

The victim's family might also want to conduct an investigation in advance of the filing of a wrongful death claim. In addition, any evidence prosecutors intend to present at trial might also help establish negligence in a civil action. If successful, the family could receive an award of damages consistent with those seen in other drunk driving accidents.

Source:, "Woman faces manslaughter charge after fatal crash in Fordland", Gene Hartley, March 25, 2016

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