Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk

ELI5: Negligence

If you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a pint of Guinness, or some other alcoholic beverage, it’s important that you’ve got plans for a safe ride home before you start drinking.

You Can Be Sued for Your Drunk Friend’s Accident–If You Own a Bar 

Yep, you read that right. You can technically be sued for your drunk friend’s car accident if they ingested alcohol at your bar and you allowed them to drive home drunk. It’s called dram shop liability, and if you own a bar, you probably have special insurance for it. Some states allow fault to be apportioned, or shared. This means that multiple parties–including the plaintiff–can be liable for causing the plaintiff’s injuries. So if you serve your friend alcohol at your bar and your friend drives home drunk, you could be partially liable for any injuries that your drunk friend causes on the way home. Don’t own a bar? Well, you’re less likely to be liable for your friend’s drunk driving accident after they drank alcohol at your place. This is because dram shop liability only applies to commercial establishments. However, good friends don’t let friends drive drunk. Therefore, if a host knows, or reasonably should know, that their friend isn’t able to drive a vehicle safely, the host should take reasonable precautions to ensure that the intoxicated individual does not drive home impaired.

Dram Shop Liability Explained – Drunk Driving Lawyer Utah

The aforementioned is due to a statute called “dram shop rule.” It’s also been called “dram shop liability.” Under the dram shop rule, places that serve alcohol may be liable for what their patrons damage the intoxicated patrons cause after they leave the premises. In states that have dram shop laws, bars and restaurants may be able to protect themselves from such lawsuits by purchasing special insurance. This way, the bar or restaurant doesn’t have to pay out of pocket for the damages a patron causes. Again, although it may be unlikely for an individual to be personally sued for their drunk friend’s car accident, it’s important to explore other alternatives before just letting your friend drive drunk.

Offer to Get an Uber

If you’re hosting a party, and you suspect your friend isn’t sober enough to call for a ride, you can help them out by offering to get an Uber or Lyft for them. These rideshare apps have helped reduce the risk of drunk driving by providing people with affordable options to get home safely.

Depending on how intoxicated your friend is, you may have to actually use your phone in order to get Uber or Lyft for them. You may even offer to pay for the rideshare if price becomes a concern for them. The full cost of a DUI can be in the thousands of dollars. Even the cheapest DUI is a lot more expensive than an Uber, Lyft, or Taxi.

Let Your Friend Stay the Night – Drunk Driving Lawyer Utah

You may also decide to let your friend stay the night. If you’re sober, you may offer to drive your friend home. You could spend the night at their house, and drive back to get their car in the morning. Even if your friend hasn’t had much to drink, it may be a good idea to offer them a place to stay anyway. A lot of times, people become lethargic and dehydrated after consuming alcohol. The aforementioned conditions may further inhibit their ability to drive. Sleeping for a few hours to sober up can never hurt.

Plan Ahead

If you’re hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party, and you’re serving alcohol, it may be a good idea to ask your friends how they’re going to get home before they start drinking. A lot of people drive drunk because they didn’t plan on how they’d get home before they started drinking. Since their judgment is impaired, they don’t realize how drunk they are and they end up driving home anyway. If your guests don’t know how they’re getting home, wait until you know how everyone’s going to get home before you start serving alcohol. It may be a good idea to have a designated driver, even at a house party.

There’s Only So Much You Can Do – Drunk Driving Lawyer Utah

There’s only so much you can do to prevent your friend from driving under the influence. You don’t have to risk a civil lawsuit in order to take reasonable precautions. If you’ve offered to let your friend stay the night, or you’ve offered to pay for their rideshare, there’s not much else you can do: you aren’t expected to tackle them when they try to walk out the door. If you’ve been injured, and you’re looking to get the maximum compensation for your injuries, contact Moxie Law Group today for a free case review.

Person grabbing the steering wheel and driving on a busy road

Car Crash but the Other Driver Drove Away! What Now? 

by | Apr 25, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

Car Crash but the Other Driver Drove Away! What Now?  If this has happened to you, don't panic! Keep reading. First Things First  Make sure that you and all your...

People holding presumably alcoholic beverages up for a toast

Can You Sleep in Your Car if You’re Drunk?  

by | Apr 18, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

Can You Sleep in Your Car if You’re Drunk?   You’ve had a big night partying like it’s 1999 and Y2K is tomorrow—so should you sleep it off in your car? Ideally, no. If...

Fast red sports car

Do You Need to Buy Additional Insurance When Renting a Car? 

by | Apr 16, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

Do You Need to Buy Additional Insurance When Renting a Car?   If you’re renting a car, you’ll probably be offered some “extra insurance”—but do you really need it?...

Bright orange sports car

What Is Rental Coverage, and Should You Consider It? 

by | Apr 11, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

What Is Rental Coverage, and Should You Consider It?  What Is Rental Coverage?  Usually, when people talk about “rental car coverage” they’re talking about one of two...

An elderly man and elderly woman walking down the street together

Do Financially Abused Elderly Have Recourse?

by | Apr 4, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

With the invention of the internet, scams preying upon the elderly have gotten more and more difficult to spot, even as the aging population becomes more familiar with...

Two insurance adjusters reviewing a case

“The Insurance Company Said It Was My Fault, but It Wasn’t!”

by | Mar 19, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

" The Insurance Company Said It Was My Fault, but It Wasn’t! " What should you do now? Keep reading! Who Determines Fault in an Accident?  The insurance companies...

Insurance adjuster and potential client reviewing a document

How Much Insurance Do I Really Need?

by | Mar 14, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

How much insurance do I really need? Is the cheapest plan really the best plan? Do you even need insurance in the first place?  How Does Insurance Work?  Customers pay...

Emergency care provider putting a stretcher into an ambulance

Getting Treatment without Health Insurance 

by | Mar 12, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

Is getting treatment without health insurance even possible? Spoiler alert: DON’T avoid treatment just because you don’t have insurance!  Problems with Avoiding...

Close up of a quarter and a penny.

Five Ways Insurance Companies Avoid Paying Fair Compensation

by | Jan 23, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

Before we go any further, it’s important to understand how insurance works. When you pay your insurance premium, you’re paying for financial coverage (up to the policy...