If someone got a dwi driving your car, are you responsible because it was your car they were driving?

Asked almost 5 years ago - Oneonta, NY

dwi by someone driving your car

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Michael Evan Greenspan

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It is important for us to know if anyone was injured as a result of the incident. If the driver of your car caused an injury, you may be liable to pay damages assuming the injury met the New York Serious Injury threshold. New York's Vehicle and Traffic Law imposes liability on the vehicle owner as well as the driver in such cases. You will need to immediately put your auto insurer on notice of the incident and provide the carrier with a copy of the police report if you have one.

  2. Donalda Jean Gillies

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . You could be civilly liable for any damages if you let the person drive your car knowing he had been drinking. This could come into play if there was an accident, but is not very likely otherwise. I could get imaginative as to other ways you could be sued, but most of those are highly unlikely.

    In some parts of NY, your car could be taken in a civil asset forfeiture connected to the DWI case. The laws make this possible anywhere, but only a few prosecutors actually pursue this.

    It might affect your car insurance.

    You cannot be charged with DWI, and there is not yet a law criminalizing helping or letting someone else drive drunk. (Could happen anytime, though.) If you put your kids in a car being driven by a drunk driver or if the driver was a minor, that could be Endangering. Most other possibilities are a stretch. Some police departments and prosecuters are quite inventive, however.

    Hope this helps.

    Friends don't let friends drive drunk.

    DISCLAIMER: This answer to a short question is provided solely for general informational purposes and based on general legal principles and court practice. The laws and practices may differ where you are. This answer does NOT constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising.

  3. Victor Wallace Carmody Jr.

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . I am not aware of any criminal dui penalty for someone else driving your car. there are two types of liability one is criminal and the other is civil.Criminal penalties for dui are usually fines,jail terms and other court imposed conditions.Civil penalties are usually for money judgements,as in injuries arising out of a traffic accident for loss of pay,property loss(automobile damage) pain and suffering,and hospital bills.If this issue is only about a dui ,then it involves only the driver.

    Victor Carmody
    781 Liberty Rd.
    Flowood Mississippi

  4. Edward Jerome Blum

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . I don't practice in NY. No. Generally not. Unless they were drunk when you lent them the car.

    Edward J. Blum

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