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My stepson and a friend, both 16, took some tequila out of

my closed liquor cabinet (9:30AM...
My stepson and a friend, both 16, took some tequila out of my closed liquor cabinet (9:30AM mind you). Result, friend in the hospital, potentially in a coma although I think they were into something else. Am I in the cross hairs of litigation? Should I take some peremptory action and have the friend arrested for stealing?
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Answered in 19 minutes by:
1/2/2009
Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27,690
Experience: 25 years experience practicing attorney
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DearCustomer- Obviously you did not provide the alcohol o any other illegal substance to the children. The problem may be that you can be held responsible for what occurs in your home so you could become a defendant in a civil action. I doubt that filing criminal charges against the other kid is going to help your cause or endear you to the parents of that child.

 

You may want to report the incident to your homeowners insurance if there have been any threats of a lawsuit since this was not an intentional act of negligence on your part. It is very difficult to stop someone from filing a suit if they choose and filing criminal charges would not stop that type of action.

 

The question would become whether you had taken sufficient precautions to keep the alcohol out of the reach of the kids. This is similar to situations where guns are kept on the premises. I doubt there could be any criminal action taken against you but in some areas there are local ordinances that make parents responsible if liquor is consumed on the premises by minors.

 

Even though the kids are legally minors they are still old enough to know the consequences of their actions. At this point there's not much you can do to change the events that have already happened. Hopefully the other boy's injuries will heal and that there will be no permanent consequences.

 

I would advise that you not discuss this situation with anyone except an attorney or your insurance carrier. You don't want to make things worse by making any statements that later could be used against you.

 

David Kennett - JD - Attorney at Law

Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27,690
Experience: 25 years experience practicing attorney
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Customer reply replied 9 years ago
Thank you very much. Quick and very much to the point. Thanks for talking me off the ledge.
No problem and thanks for using our service - Dave
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Dave Kennett
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