The Brown & Crouppen Legal Lens takes a closer look at everyday legal issues and gives you a better understanding of topics that may affect you.

ST. LOUIS – There are several construction plans for the St. Louis area this summer, so drivers need to be cautious when driving through work zones. Andrea McNairy, managing attorney at Brown & Crouppen, explains more in this week’s Legal Lens with FOX 2’s Vic Faust.

“With all the construction zones popping up around this time, people need to be careful,” McNairy said. “These are heightened areas of scrutiny and ticketing and additional points on your license and fines.”

McNairy warned of an offense called “endangerment of a highway worker,” which can be committed in several ways. This includes exceeding the speed limit by 15 miles per hour or more, failing to stop, failing to follow the designated lines of traffic, hitting a construction worker, hitting any traffic control device, leaving the scene of an accident, or driving carelessly.

“All of those things can lead to increased fines,” said McNairy. “You can lose your license. You can go to jail if you injure or kill somebody if you are criminally convicted. So, a lot of repercussions if you break the law in work zones.”

Another offense drivers should know about is aggravated endangerment of a highway worker, which happens when a driver hurts or kills a worker.

“If you do that, one, you can be criminally convicted,” McNairy said. “Two, you would lose your license, and there are increased fees and penalties.”

While it is not illegal to text and drive in Missouri, McNairy said it’s a “huge epidemic” in the state.

“We’re one of only two states, the other being Montana, that does not make it illegal to text and drive,” she said. “The only law we really have on the books is if you’re under 21 you’re not allowed to use your handheld device to text or browse the internet. But even 21 and younger drivers can use their phone to make calls. So, you know, with the amount of increased handheld device use, we are seeing increased wrecks just because of texting and driving.”