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  1. #1
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    Friends don't let friends drive drunk?

    Could you be held accountable for allowing someone else to drive drunk? Two 17-year-old boys arrested in Glastonbury, CT on Thursday are finding out the hard way that you can. They were charged with misdemeanors, as police say they knew their friend Jane Modlesky, also 17, was too drunk to drive when she got behind the wheel of an SUV in July before crashing into a tree and dying.

    http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-livin...194849860.html

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    I doubt the charges will stick. They aren't in a position where they had a legal obligation to stop her and they aren't even adults. Now if they had plied her with drinks and then encouraged her to drive or were bartenders or had some other job where they had control over parts of the situation, I think it might be different but the law is pretty clear that the general public has no legal responsibility to stop potential crimes. Heck, we often don't even have a legal responsibility to stop actual crimes in progress.
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    It may also depend on CT law. Some states have "good samaritan" laws (you do have to do something); if so, they may have violated it by failing to call the police.

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    Quote Originally Posted by attyfan View Post
    It may also depend on CT law. Some states have "good samaritan" laws (you do have to do something); if so, they may have violated it by failing to call the police.
    I've never heard of a good samaritan law requiring you to do something; rather a good samaritan law protects you if you do something.

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    I suppose calling the police is one way to stop a drunk friend from driving. Otherwise, I don't see how I could stop someone bigger and stronger than me who was intent on driving. I don't know any martial arts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    I've never heard of a good samaritan law requiring you to do something; rather a good Samaritan law protects you if you do something.
    This. If you perform a Heimlich on someone who is choking, you should be protected under the good Samaritan law. If you are a health care professional, however, you will be held up to the standards of your profession and scope of practice.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    I've never heard of a good samaritan law requiring you to do something; rather a good samaritan law protects you if you do something.
    I have read articles on the "duty to report crime" laws that exist in a few states that have used the term "good samaritan law". Your reference (to an immunity for those who provide emergency help) is the more common one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    I suppose calling the police is one way to stop a drunk friend from driving. Otherwise, I don't see how I could stop someone bigger and stronger than me who was intent on driving.
    You know, I was thinking about this some more and when I did my training as a daycare worker one of the scenarios that came up was drunk parent picking up a child (thankfully this never happened). By law, we cannot deny a parent their child- no matter what the scenario. We were supposed to suggest they hang out and wait, or call a ride, but if they refused and wanted the kid to leave, we had to let them, and then immediately call the police with a license plate number.

    So if the status quo for INFANTS is to have to let the parent drive with them, I can't imagine a law that holds you responsible for stopping a friend. How does one go about doing that? To what degree do you have to act to stop them? I mean, I've taken keys from friends- but if they are going to fight you, you can't really do much.
    Last edited by Skittl1321; 12-07-2013 at 02:25 AM.

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    How are minors responsible for the behavior of other minors? Legally they aren't even responsible for themselves.

    I hate to be callous but the girl who was under age and drinking lost her life and it was her own fault. And had she hit more than a tree she could have been responsible for hurting or killing someone else also. If you hold these kids responsible then whoever supplied a minor with liquor is accountable also. And that would include whoever she bought it from with a fake id or if she took it from her parents' unlocked liquor cabinet.
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    If I knew someone was too drunk to drive... I wouldn't give a fig how big they were, their keys would be mine. Let them call the cops, if they dare. No way would I let a drunk on the road if I could help it.

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    I agree that it probably depends upon how the law is interpreted.

    I also would like to think that I would take someone's keys away from them, but in reality I am not sure I could take them away from a bigger, taller person. Teenagers, especially ones who may have been drinking, can't always determine if their friend is able to drive. Heck, adults with experience aren't always able to tell. If you are underage and been drinking with a group of people, you probably aren't too willing to call the police to report a drunk driver either.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Dislike.
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

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    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    If I knew someone was too drunk to drive... I wouldn't give a fig how big they were, their keys would be mine. Let them call the cops, if they dare. No way would I let a drunk on the road if I could help it.
    I completely disagree with this. Calling the police, yes, that's sensible. Fighting someone who is drunk to get their keys? Stupid, IMO. That can escalate quickly. Especially with a "I don't give a fig how big they are" attitude. You should care. I would not risk my life, the drunk person's life, or the lives of those around me by physically engaging a drunk person, especially one physically bigger and stronger than I. One wrong move, and someone could die then, too. I've seen it happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    I completely disagree with this. Calling the police, yes, that's sensible. Fighting someone who is drunk to get their keys? Stupid, IMO. That can escalate quickly. Especially with a "I don't give a fig how big they are" attitude. You should care. I would not risk my life, the drunk person's life, or the lives of those around me by physically engaging a drunk person, especially one physically bigger and stronger than I. One wrong move, and someone could die then, too. I've seen it happen.
    I would call the cops or yell at someone else do it; but I would do EVERYTHING in my power to stop them. Drunks aren't the smartest people on earth. I've had a family member killed by a drunk driver so yes I will do just about anything to stop it from happening again to me or anyone else. I couldn’t live with myself if I let a drunk leave the scene while I watch with an indifferent attitude. That’s just not in my nature to stand by and watch… in any situation.

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    ^^But are you saying this as your adult self or your 17 year old self? My judgment as an adult is completely different now than it was then. Not so much my sense of right and wrong, but my ability to handle this situation.
    The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are--Joseph Campbell

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    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    I would call the cops or yell at someone else do it; but I would do EVERYTHING in my power to stop them. Drunks aren't the smartest people on earth. I've had a family member killed by a drunk driver so yes I will do just about anything to stop it from happening again to me or anyone else. I couldn’t live with myself if I let a drunk leave the scene while I watch with an indifferent attitude. That’s just not in my nature to stand by and watch… in any situation.
    You would fight the person? Throw punches? Take punches to the face? Because that is what some drunk people would do when you try to grab the keys out of their hand. You are acting as if you can actually control every situation and that is absolutely not reality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiveRinger View Post
    ^^But are you saying this as your adult self or your 17 year old self? My judgment as an adult is completely different now than it was then. Not so much my sense of right and wrong, but my ability to handle this situation.
    Yes, I was only speaking for myself as an adult; however 17 year olds (and younger) are charged as adults all the time but they were drunk so their judgment was impaired as it was. Her judgment was her own both to drink underage and to drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    You would fight the person? Throw punches? Take punches to the face? Because that is what some drunk people would do when you try to grab the keys out of their hand. You are acting as if you can actually control every situation and that is absolutely not reality.
    Are you asking me if I would take a punch in the gut/head from someone to prevent them from getting into a car drunk? In a heartbeat. I realize it's not for everyone, but not everyone has had a knock at door from a cop telling them their loved one is dead. How much stuffing am I willing to have knocked out me? I don't know, it's never come to that, I hope it never does and as you said every situation is different and not everything ends in a fist fight. But if I have the opportunity to prevent that knock at the door for happening to somone else, I will certainly give it a try.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    Are you asking me if I would take a punch in the gut/head from someone to prevent them from getting into a car drunk? In a heartbeat.
    That's easy enough to say. Life is more complicated and less black and white than that.
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    Julieann, I've had a loved one killed, and another permanently paralysed because a friend of theirs (who ended up with a broken neck and nose, but no permanent damage) was fighting another friend (who was the drunk one, but ended up without any major injuries) for the keys. Four lives ruined, one dead, one paralysed, one feeling responsible for the fight because he was so desperate to get those keys and not to let his friend drink and drive, and one jailed. Many more lives devastated by the loss of a loved one, but hey, no one drank and drove, and the friend got those keys. Fighting a drunk person is stupid. Always. This fight, which was recorded on CCTV, took just a few minutes; that's how fast it escalated, and only the one person was drunk.

    I've also had a friend die when he was driving drunk, and a loved one die in an accident caused by a drunk driver. In those cases, it was the drunk driver's fault, in the above, it was both the drunk person, and the person who did "everything in his power" to stop his friend driving, which provoked a fight that killed someone and seriously injured another. (Both were charged, the drunk person was jailed, the other plead I think).
    Last edited by Angelskates; 12-07-2013 at 07:30 AM.

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    Of course there's always the old saying not everything is black and white or that's easier said than done. Some people are the type who will stand by and watch some old lady get mugged or watch some kid get bullied and not get involved because they're afraid of what might happen to them and that's okay. I'm not one of them; it’s not how I was raised.

    Every scenario would be different dealing with a drunk-but not to even try FOR ME would be egregious. If others want to stand aside and sleep safe at night, I don't hold that against anyone one bit. If anyone wants to pass judgement on me, so be it, that's their issue to deal with not mine.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    Of course there's always the old saying not everything is black and white or that's easier said than done. Some people are the type who will stand by and watch some old lady get mugged or watch some kid get bullied and not get involved because they're afraid of what might happen to them and that's okay. I'm not one of them; it’s not how I was raised.

    Every scenario would be different dealing with a drunk-but not to even try FOR ME would be egregious. If others want to stand aside and sleep safe at night, I don't hold that against anyone one bit. If anyone wants to pass judgement on me, so be it, that's their issue to deal with not mine.
    Involvement doesn't need to be physical, and certainly doesn't mean fighting someone, no matter who, how big, no matter what. The police recommend not physically getting involved for good reason; it can mean more than one person gets hurt. I think you saying you'd get physically involved no matter what, and doing whatever is needed, is wrong, far more wrong that not getting physically involved. Saying one might get involved, depending on the circumstances, maybe, but your statements/actions are IMHO is what gets people like my friend killed. You're so determined to get involved, so focused on getting those keys, what about the bystanders? Drunk people don't aim well, but neither do people focused on only one thing, such as getting keys.

    I'm not the person to stand by and watch, I'm the person who assesses the situation, and makes a decision that I believe will help the most people without harming anyone. Might that mean trying to restrain someone? Sure. I've actually been trained to do that. But to decide what I'd do in advance of seeing specific circumstances? That's careless, and dangerous, IMO.

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