What happens if you have a DUI but it’s not your car? 18 Answers as of June 07, 2011

My son got a DUI while he was driving his friends car. Does this pose any problem for his friend, or is the burden just on our family?

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Other than the fact that the car was likely impounded requiring someone to pay the impound fee and go pick it up, not much else.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/10/2010
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
No problem for the friend unless they issued him a cite for an unrelated charge like Open Container or Drunk in Public.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/12/2010
Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
Just your family.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/12/2010
The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco
The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco | Victor J Mazzaraco
The short answer is: NO! The fact your son was in another persons vehicle while charged with DUI does not effect the DUI charge and - since it seems nobody was injured in an accident (thank goodness) - does not implicate the vehicle owner criminally either.

The DUI offense is concerned not with vehicle ownership but condition of vehicle operators. If the owner knew of your sons intoxicated state and lent him the vehicle anyway, and your son proceeded to get into an accident while driving the vehicle, the owner could be charged with a negligent entrustment offense, but that's not the case here.

Generally, 1st time DUI penalties are: around a $1,700 fine, 3 years probation, attendance at a DUI program for 3 months, and a day or 2 in jail, which is usually credited as having been served the night of the arrest. Penalties increase with every subsequent DUI conviction within a 10 year period..
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/11/2010
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
The owner of the car is generally not responsible for someone getting a dui while driving it unless there is an accident.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/21/2010
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    The DUI is a person crime. Your son is responsible for his actions. His friend has no criminal responsibility unless he knew your son was drinking before he let him drive.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2010
    Law Office of Marc K. Herbert
    Law Office of Marc K. Herbert | Marc K. Herbert
    For a DUI arrest, the owner of the vehicle is irrelevant. The driver alone is subject to arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both.

    Please be advised that your son must request an Administrative Hearing with the DMV within 10 days of his arrest, to protect his California drivers license.

    The friend might be subject to a separate charge, but law enforcement usually does not pursue the owner of the car in this situation.

    If you would like to discuss this case in greater detail, please call my office for a FREE phone conference.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2010
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    It is the driver that gets arrested. The owner might have to pay to recover the car from impound. If you were the driver, feel free to contact me for the legal help you will need in court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2010
    The Law Office of Sam Salhab
    The Law Office of Sam Salhab | Samer Salhab
    Most likely the burden is on your family alone. I am very experienced with DUIs. If you would like to discuss the matter further through a free consultation, please contact the office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2010
    Wise Law Group
    Wise Law Group | Michael J. Wise, Esq
    The ownership of the vehicle is irrelevant. The two main questions on a DUI are who was driving and were they impaired / have a BAC over .08 (or lower for some commercial drivers).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2010
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann | Christopher J. McCann
    It does not matter whose car in which the DUI occurred. The only issue which I am sure you have already noticed is that the car was likely pounded, and only the registered owner can retrieve it. Also, there are fees that the friend will have to pay. Other than that, the friend will not have any problems due to your sons DUI.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    In most cases, it would not affect the friend. Generally, your son is the only one facing consequences for the DUI. The only other real possibility would be if there had been an accident that could give rise to some form of negligent entrustment, but without that, then it is just the DUI. I am available for assistance if you are in Southern California.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/18/2010
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Assuming there was no accident, the only issue is just with your son (and your family). I would be glad to help you with this.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/18/2010
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    As long as he was not in an accident it does not matter who the owner of the car was.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/18/2010
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Makes no difference whose car it belongs to. The fact is, your son was the one arrested. There shouldn't be any problems for his friend at all.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/18/2010
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