What to do if I got a DUI while driving my friend’s car?

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What to do if I got a DUI while driving my friend’s car?

We were both drunk and he gave me the keys and asked me to drive. The arresting officer said he pulled us over because my friend’s license plate light was out. He’s threatening to sue me for the cost of the towing fees on his car even though I offered to pay for half of it. Does he have a case?

Asked on March 20, 2013 under Criminal Law, Washington

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

He can certainly try to sue you, but you would have two valid defenses both based on the theory that he is contributorily responsible for the car being towed.  First, if he had properly maintained his vehicle, there would not have been a basis for the traffic stop.  The improper maintenance of his vehicle was not your responsibility.  Second, if he had been sober, the police would have allowed him to drive the vehicle home instead of being towed.  Even though you assumed the role of designated driver (though unsuccessfully), he was responsible for his own degree of intoxication.  Considering that the events which resulted in his car being towed for partially his fault, your offer to pay for half of the fee is completely fair.


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