If a pedestrian is struck by an uninsured motorist but both are intoxicated and the driver is a minor, will the pedestrian be charged with anything?

UPDATED: May 22, 2012

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If a pedestrian is struck by an uninsured motorist but both are intoxicated and the driver is a minor, will the pedestrian be charged with anything?

I’m of legal drinking age in my state, the driver is not. We were both attending the same party, but I didn’t provide any alcohol or any illegal substances.

Asked on May 22, 2012 under Accident Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

"Walking while intoxicated" is not  crime, so there should be no criminal charges for it specifically. It is possible you could be given a ticket for a very minor violation, such as some sort of a disorderly persons offense, for public drunkeness if you were sufficiently drunk, or perceived by the authorites to be sufficiently drunk, but that has nothing to do with being a drunk pedestrian or being in an accident.

It is possible that (if you were injured) what you could recover from the driver in a lawsuit would be reduced due to your own drunkenness; when the plaintiff (person suing) in a lawsuit is him/herself negligent or careless, such "comparative" or "contributory" negligence will offset or reduce what he or she could get as compensation. For example: it's commonly the case  that if you suffered $5,000 of injuries but were ajudged to be 30% at fault, that your potential recovery would be reduced by 30%, to $3,500.

It's even possible, but unlikely, that if the driver, despite being drunk was actually driving responsibly and you did something monumentally stupid owing to your own intoxication, that you could be sued for any injuries or car damage he (or the car's owner) suffered--e.g.. if you were laying in the middle of the road and the driver swerved into a parked car while trying to avoid you, you could potentially be liable for his injuries or repair bills.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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