Friday, January 30, 2015

Driving While High/Stoned/Drunk

Everyone knows the danger of driving while intoxicated, high or stoned. Maybe just call it driving under the influence, no matter the intoxicant.

As a parent, we of course got our son a car when was in high school just as many other parents do every day. He was a good student and we wanted him to have the chance to be mobile and date. We were good parents.....????

What happens when you get your child a car and you know they are addicted to drugs or alcohol? They will drive. They will drive under the influence. Do not fool yourself dad and mom, it will happen.

Just like us, they will drive that car you technically own. Your name is on the title, the insurance is likely in your name. Your child is under 18, or maybe that car is in your name when your adult addicted child is driving under the influence.

What difference does it make? I can't stop them from using, I can't stop them from driving under the influence.

My story, my son drove under the influence. I began to realize one day he was going to have a serious accident under the influence of drugs. The car was titled to me. He was over 18 years old and driving a car titled to me and the insurance was in my name. I knew he was an addict and I knew he was PROBABLY driving under the influence.

What if he had an accident and hurt himself or hurt someone else? I knew he was driving under he influence. How much ownership did I have if he did hurt someone? How much of it did I own financially and morally?

I come to the realization that morally I would suffer long if he hurt someone. I owned that, I knew he was an addict and I gave him the keys, even though he was not using at the time, it was "his" truck.

What would my financial liability be if he hurt someone seriously and the vehicle and insurance was in my name and I knew he was an addict? For me, I am not an attorney, but it isn't a stretch to see an attorney putting financial culpability on my actions and negligence.

Dad and Mom, what should you do if your child is addicted to drugs and driving "your" vehicle?

What I did was take MY vehicle back. Told my son that I could not allow him to expose me to that much risk if he was using drugs and driving under the influence. I was NOT prepared to risk losing my retirement, IRA, house and everything I own because he was driving under the influence and I knew he did that regularly. I told him I could not live with myself if he killed or hurt someone seriously while he was driving under the influence.

He wasn't being punished. I established my own boundaries. I didn't say YOU can't drive my car. I said I would not assume that risk of him driving my car. "I" means boundary, "You" means rule. I established a boundary, I would not allow someone that I know that drives under the influence to drive a car I owned and put me at risk, morally and financially.

Took the truck away and it sat parked for two years until I sold it. I told my son he could buy the truck from me simply by coming up with the money to have titled in his name and to do that he needed to buy insurance and pay property taxes. We all know if an addict can  scrape up that much money it isn't going to the county and state to register a vehicle.  LOL

Do your want real evidence my scenario and logic is real then read this article published in The Kansas City Star on Wednesday January 28, 2015.

"Family of Man Hit by Teen Driver Sues, Cites Drinking Issue".


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you made this post! My husband and I did exactly the same thing as you - no way were we going to be responsible or held liable for our son killing someone or himself because he was driving stoned. We couldn't stop him from using drugs but we could stop him from using a vehicle that was in our name. We stopped enabling him by filling his tank, (you know, so he could get to 'work' as he said-of course what he really needed gas for was getting to his dealer's)paying for oil changes, car insurance, replacing the countless flat tires, etc. If he was going to drive, every responsibility that came with that privilege was on him.

Liz said...

Thank you Ron for posting this! I was one of those parents who was so naive and trusting of my child. I truely believed she would not use and drive. I was wrong. She did drive under the influence and could have hurt someone or herself. Luckily she did not, but I will never be so stupid again and allow her access to any of our vehicles.
If she drives again, it will be in a car she paid for, is registered in her name, and she insures. And, if I am aware that she is using and driving, I will alert the authorities.

Syd said...

It is a huge issue with regard to liability. I wish that more people would realize what a danger most of us face when we drive with so many drunk and stoned people on the road.

Jimmy Washington said...

That was just the right decision you made. By setting boundaries over your son’s behavior teaches him how to be a responsible man. It will always start the changes to the parents like not tolerating your son to drive under the influence. You did not just save your liabilities but other’s lives in the hand of an individual who drives under the influence. Maybe you can also convince your son to undergo treatment recovery care center for him to stop using the substance and have a better life. Convincing him to seek treatment would only be the first step towards his recovery. Most of the time, a person may be hard to convince. If this is the case, staging an intervention must take place. This requires a professional help in order to make the person realize his addiction issues.

alia52nalie said...

I really can’t understand my so many people think they are smart enough that they are take law or cops for a ride. My uncle works with a Los Angeles DUI attorney and often tells us so many cases where people thought they were doing okay whereas were way over the limit allowed.

Srinivas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim Hunter said...

This is very real and very important information to know. There are terrible consequences to intoxicated driving; morally, emotionally and legally. Unfortunately we can’t control our loved ones no matter how much we want them to change. The only thing we can do is educate ourselves and protect ourselves and our families the best way we know how.

Kim Hunter @ K Hunter Law

Srinivas said...

It would help if my comment, although disagreed upon, was published. Sorry if I was trolling but I would like to know what I said as it was removed.

You replied 6 months later so I am lost.

Thank you

Srinivas said...

Okay. I know what I said. I realize this is important information and sorry for my rude post in June.