How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Chris T., JD Your Own Question
Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4827
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Chris T., JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

if a drunk person signs a contract stating i can drive their

This answer was rated:

if a drunk person signs a contract stating i can drive their vehicle and that the vehicle is insured, and something happens, would the contract be legit in court?

TexLawyer :

Good afternoon. I'll be assisting you with your question.

Customer: Alright thanks
TexLawyer :

A contract entered into by an intoxicated person is "voidable."

TexLawyer :

That means that the contract could be voided by the person, but it does not have to be. In other words, if they want to void the contract they may, or they may choose to stand by it.

TexLawyer :

The question here may involve exactly how drunk the person was.

TexLawyer :

A person can be slightly intoxicated and still understand what they are signing and the ramifications of it.

Customer: If they say the car is insured and it is not, even i they are drunk what could happen in court
TexLawyer :

However, if the person is so drunk that they don't know or understand what they are signing, then it is voidable.

TexLawyer :

So, the person driving the vehicle for them relied on their assertion that the vehicle was insured?

Customer: They would be signing a contract walking straight out of a bar, this is for business purposes
Customer: Yes, we will not drive a vehicle that is not insured, there for we make them sign a contract stating it is insured
TexLawyer :

In that case, if the person was not actually insured but claimed they were, you could argue reliance. That is, you could argue in court that you placed valid reliance on their claim that they were insured, and you would have not driven their car absent that claim. The validity of the contract would have to be determined on a person by person basis. Some people will leave the bar witht he capicity to enter a contract, and some will not. It all depends on how much they have to drink. The better practice would be to have then sign a contract when the enter, not when they leave.

TexLawyer :

Also, even if a person was too intoxicated to enter into the contract at the time they signed it, if later, when they sober up, they can still accept it later by ratifying it. So, if later, when sober, they say they agree to the contract, their agreement can go back to the time they originally signed it.

Customer: Ok last and final question about this, in your personal opinion, knowing that by bar close people are pretty drunk, if bodily damage results in a crash, am i looking at some major problems, is the bar that is signed a contract with me in anyway reliable and could be held in court?
TexLawyer :

If the contract is voidable and the intoxicated person decides to void the contract (again, the level of intoxication is important here), then the contract is legally non-existant. So, with no contract, the a court would just look at negligence. If the person from the bar driving the vehicle was negligent in his driving, then the bar could be liable for any personal or property damage cause by the driver's negligence.

TexLawyer :

As a practical note, however, my guess is that a judge would have some degree of sympathy for the bar, considering they took steps to protect themselves and were trying to get people home safely.

Customer: Alright, do you know if any insurance policy would cover my butt if something like that would happen? When i sign a contract with a bar, what could i put in there so the bar isnt liable once im in the customers vehicle?
TexLawyer :

Do you work for the bar?

TexLawyer :

You could get regular business insurance, just as any business would. That would protect you from lawsuits up to your policy limits. This is a very specific circumstance, so you'd have to visit with an insurance agent to figure that out, but you can get insurance for almost anything.

TexLawyer :

Do you work for the bar, or are you doing this on your own?

Customer: Doing this on my own, if a bar signs a contract with my ill assign people o drive there customers home
TexLawyer :

If you are an indipendent contractor, the bar will not have any liability. In your contract with the bar, you need to make it clear that you are an indipendent contractor, and not an employee of the bar. You need to make it clear that you set your own prices, you set your own hours, etc.

TexLawyer :

Those are factors that determine who is an indipendent contractor and who is an employee.

TexLawyer :

Here are the factors a court would look at to determine who is an employee and who is a contractor:

Customer: Ok also since ill have drivers giving customers contracts to sign about the insurance through my company, are the drivers also independent contractors seeing as how im not paying them at all, they are gettin paid by tips
TexLawyer :

OK. You just need to make your satus as in indipendent contractor clear.

TexLawyer :

I hope that answers your question. If so, please remember to "rate" my answer. Good luck!

Customer: Thanks
Chris T., JD and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you