The following is a video transcript.
New Year’s is a great holiday that is fun for young and old alike. But, we do need to be careful that we keep our New Year’s safe. Now, New Year’s celebrations often involve fireworks, drinking, and guns, and we will discuss each of those topics, so that you know the law and can keep yourself safe on New Year’s.
In Missouri, fireworks are common. However, there are many counties in Missouri which prohibit the use of fireworks. That means you could be charged with a crime for letting off fireworks if your county prohibits it. Make sure you know the law with regards to your county. Just because other people are letting off fireworks does not mean it is legal. You could also be held civilly liable if you set off a firework that starts a fire, either in someone else’s home, property, or in a forest.
Firearms and Intoxication
Now, guns and drinking should not be mixed. In Missouri, it becomes a felony offense if you are intoxicated and in possession of a firearm. What is intoxicated? It’s not just the legal definition of a .08 blood alcohol concentration. You still could be found to be intoxicated if your blood alcohol concentration is not over a .08 but you appear impaired to a police officer. My recommendation is not to mix guns and alcohol. Some people like to fire guns on New Year’s in celebration. I do not recommend this, so be careful.
Good Samaritan Laws
Now, if there are injuries on New Year’s, some states require people to step in and help. Missouri is not one of those states. Missouri does protect against civil liability for people who are trained medical professionals. But, what is your obligation to help? Sometimes, these are referred to as Good Samaritan laws.
In Missouri, there is no law that requires you to render help or aid if someone is injured. In fact, you could be held civilly liable if you try to help someone and you make their injury worse. That’s a judgment call on your part. If you make that injury worse, they could sue you. Now, if you’re a trained medical professional, Missouri law does protect you from civil suits. However, if you’re not, you do have that exposure.
If you cause an injury on New Year’s by accident, call 911. Have a trained medical professional render first aid. If there’s not time, you can render first aid. However, be aware that you put yourself at risk of having some civil liability if you make that injury worse.