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James Wendt
James Wendt, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 54
Experience:  Experienced in civil and criminal cases. Admitted to practice in US Supreme Court, and 9th Circuit.
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I know of a person who literally brags about being a profes

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I know of a person who literally brags about being a "professional drunk driver" who worries me that she is going to kill someone - she drinks very heavily and drives afterward. She refuses to take a cab or allow one of us to drive her. We have all tried to talk some sense into her - so now we are to the point where we think the best thing we can do is call the police and report her as a drunk driver - but is this legal? - Can we watch the bar we know that she goes to and when she leaves call 911 and report her as a drunk driver? It would not require stalking as the store I own is across from the bar that she frequents - I worry about my community - but I also worry about the legal ramifications - but I also feel that my not reporting is also neglegent if someone is to get hurt - including her which would be bad enough - but should she hurt someone else that would be even more terrible.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  James Wendt replied 8 years ago.

It is certainly not illegal to report a drunk driver. Quite the opposite. You are performing a public service. You are not obligated to do so and should she get in an accident and hurt someone you cannot be held liable. However, the bar she frequents could very well be held liable (this is referred to as "dram shop liability") if she hurts someone as a result of drinking at that bar and driving. Either way, reporting or not reporting, you will not be exposing yourself to either civil or to criminal liability (assuming that you do not assist her by serving her alcohol). It is a public service for you to report her, however, and you should do so if you think she is impaired to the degree that she is endangering others by driving.

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