If someone denied you help and lets you drive drink, do they bear any liability if you have an accident?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If someone denied you help and lets you drive drink, do they bear any liability if you have an accident?

My daughter was bitten by a dog and drove to her dad’s home to get help. She was told to get out by her dad’s wife, even though it was apparent that my daughter was inebriated. On the way back looking for a hospital my daughter had an accident. She was injured, required hospitalization and surgery. Is the person who refused my daughter help guilty of any criminal offense? My daughter has been charged with DUI but her father forbid her to tell the lawyer about the circumstances leading to the accident.

Asked on September 21, 2016 under Criminal Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

There is no law obligating one adult to help another adult or to prevent them from driving drunk. Since her father's wife had no legal obligation to help your daughter or stop her driving while she was drunk, she is not liable either criminally or civilly. Morally, what she did was reprehensible; legally, it was proper.

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