By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Did you know you can be arrested for drunk driving offenses if you aren’t driving?
Two Connecticut teenagers were arrested last month and charged with reckless endangerment after allowing a 17-year-old highly intoxicated friend to get behind the wheel, crash her car and die. Neither of the teens charged was the host of a party at which alcohol was served, and neither was in the car when she got into the accident.
Can you be held liable for a drunk driving accident if you neither served the booze nor drove the car? The answer, in a growing number of states, is yes.
If you own a car and knowingly allow a drunk person to drive it, you can be held liable, as was former Ravens player Steve McNair, who was charged in 2007 with drunk driving charges even though he was a passenger in his car when it was being driven by a drunk.
If you don’t own the car, many states are charging people who allow others to drive drunk with facilitation of drunk driving by consent or aiding and abetting drunk driving.
The bottom line on this one is to step up when you see someone with the keys in her hand. Losing a friend is far worse than losing your clean record, but both can be the result if you allow someone who shouldn’t to drive.