As a Seattle auto accident lawyer working at a Tacoma personal injury law firm, I have always been an advocate for stronger DUI laws and have made a point of telling people that are going out to drink to always make sure that they have a designated ride home. Auto accidents caused by drunk drivers are generally disastrous and cause all too often lead to the wrongful death of an innocent victim; but these accidents are also 100% preventable.
I am generally disgusted after hearing about an auto accident that was caused by a drunk driver but an arrest made Sunday definitely tops the cake. A 40-year-old man was out drinking and had his 13-year-old son with him. When it was time for the two to go home the dad decided that he was too intoxicated to drive and so instead of calling a friend or even a taxi he threw the keys to his 13-year-old son and let him get behind the wheel. Reckless driving is one thing, but to let your child drive you home because you are too drunk is unbelievably dangerous. Washington State patrol pulled the car over because the young boy was driving erratically and repeatedly stomping on the brakes. Once the police officer saw that the young boy was driving his drunken father home the officer immediately arrested the father and took the child into custody. The father is being held on reckless endangerment charges, but the young boy was released later that night to his mother, he will not be charged with anything.
This father selfishly put his son’s life in danger by making him try to drive him home. I can’t believe that he would even dare to ask his 13-year-old son to drive him home. The most unfortunate part about this situation is that the father can’t even be charged with a DUI because he technically wasn’t driving; so he is going to get off with a much lighter sentence than he truly deserves. I will say it again; if you are going out to drink make sure that you have a sober ride home.