If you ride a motorcycle with somebody who is drinking are you liable?

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If you ride a motorcycle with somebody who is drinking are you liable?

I have a roommate who always wants us to ride together, him on his motorcycle and myself on my motorcycle. He always has a few alcoholic beverages before he rides. I am an aspiring nurse. If I decide to ride with him even on a separate motorcycle am I liable if he crashes for having prior knowledge?

Does us being roommates affect anything?

Does me have a healthcare professional have any bearing on this?

I live in California and thank you so much for your prompt response.

Asked on April 17, 2019 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you would not be liable: one adult is not responsible for another adult's actions, even a roommate, and even if you have prior knowledge of their risky behavior, unless the second adult contributed to the harmful conduct. So as long as you don't let him ride your motorcycle when he is intoxicated or don't serve or buy him the beers, you are not liable for what he does.
However, that's legally. It is possible that a prospective or actual healthcare employer, where your friend to be in a DUI accident with you and the employer becomes aware of that, decide that you showed poor judgment and either decline to hire you or terminate you if you are already working for them. Remember: employment is "employment at will"; there is no right to a job. This would look bad for a healthcare professional, to ride with an intoxicated person. You are encouraged to not do this.


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