Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fiesta is not the only time to focus on preventing drunken driving

Last week, San Antonio District Attorney Susan Reed put the focus on drunk driving and Fiesta parties, but the upcoming 10-day event is not the only time that our roads are filled with dangerous drivers.

Angel pitcher Nick Adenhart , killed by a motorist who ran a red light and was driving 30 miles over the posted speeds, shows that tragedy can happen at any time.  His case is typical of the danger most of us face every day, especially late at night.

With Easter coming up, people should also know that if they are hosting a family barbecue or party that they have personal liability for all of their guests.   For most of us, there's always that crazy relative who brings all the alcohol and consumes most of it before driving home in his car.   Unless you have been in an alcohol liability training class like my friend Tom Marino and his Alamo Training courses, you wouldn't know that you held liability for all of your guests.

If you have teens who want to hold a party at your house with a couple of kegs, not only are you facing the possibilities of charges for providing alcohol to teens, but you also face similar liability.  There have been several cases where victims of drunk driving sued the parents of teens who held a party where one of the inebriated party goers severely injured or killed someone.  In one case, the parents of the teens were out of town on a family matter, but they were successfully sued in court.

For those drunken relatives, it's best to drive them home even if they only live a couple of blocks away.  While Reed said it's all right for people to walk somewhere if they drank too much, studies have shown that most pedestrians killed in traffic accidents have been walking under the influence.

So, if you have a major party coming up such as Easter, prom or a high school graduation party, understand that you face liability issues if someone leaves your home with too much to drink and then injures or kills someone.

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