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  • Learner driving w/o license VS drunk guy driving

    Question for you all to help me settle an argument between my friend and me. My best friend only has a learners permit so she needs a licensed driver with her who is able to drive the vehicle in the event that she can't.

    We were at the bar one night and one of my licensed driver friends who drove there had a couple schooners over the course of two hours and insisted that "he was fine because alcohol leaves his blood stream faster than normal." (A bunch bs if you ask me.)

    Anyways, my friend who only had a learners permit insisted that she should drive him home "because it's better to have a sober driver with only a learners permit rather than a drunk guy driving and that the police won't care as long as the driver is sober."

    I told her it was a load of crap because if she were to get into an accident she'd have no insurance, not to mention that she's not at the level of driving where she can drive without the assistance of her licensed driver. (She can't judge distance or parallel park, and doesn't know all the rules of the road yet.)

    I offered the other guy a ride home because I was sober enough (I only had one beer over the two hours along with a huge plate of nachos.) to drive. He insisted that he needed to have his car back home in the morning because his sister needed his car for work in the morning. (Before you ask "why didn't you just drive his car home?" I'll tell you that I couldn't because his is a standard and I can only drive automatics.)

    I fought him for his keys but he's a lot bigger than me and when I grabbed them, he bit me (hard too. I was bleeding pretty bad.) and I dropped them and he grabbed them before I could get them.

    I made my friend come with me (I wasn't going to let anything happen to her).

    He took off in his car and I called him in, but by the time the police could get to where he was going he had slipped through them and they couldn't find him.

    All the way home my friend chewed me out for not letting her drive him home in his car "because it's better to have a sober driver with only a learners permit rather than a drunk guy driving and that the police won't care as long as the driver is sober."

    So tell me this. If you would have pulled her over and when you found that she only had a learners permit and her licensed driver was drunk would you have cared?

    Also, what else could I have done to prevent this situation from happening in the event that it happens again (which it most likely will)?

  • #2
    "So tell me this. If you would have pulled her over and when you found that she only had a learners permit and her licensed driver was drunk would you have cared?

    Also, what else could I have done to prevent this situation from happening in the event that it happens again (which it most likely will)?"
    Here your sober, learner-licenced-only, friend would be fine, but the mouthy drunk COULD be charged for Care and Control While Impaired, which is a criminal offence.

    The mouthy guy would get arrested, his car would be towed and your sober friend would have to find a way home.

    Your idiot, mouthy, drunken friend should have saved some of his money for a cab ride home, then paid for his sister to take a cab to go pick up his vehicle in the morning.

    Drunks are such fools!
    #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
    Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
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    • #3
      here it kinda depends on the age of teh permited driver, if she/he is under 21 and we smell alchol, zero tolerence shes/hes in trouble. Also it would have been alot better imho because she may not be as experienced, but she also not drunk and can prolly drive better. Sorry about the typos if there are any, just got home from working a texas football game in 120 degree heat on the turf....
      Why do we try so Hard for Little things, and so Little for Hard things?

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      • #4
        Well, if she has no alcohol on board, passenger is drunk and was supposed to drive, then I would cut her a break. She's doing the wrong thing for the right reason. Although her experience level may not be great, her reponse time is still unimpaired. And after being stopped, I'm sure she would be 10 times as careful driving home with her "pucker factor" at 10.

        If however she did consume alcohol and was under 21, she'd been screwed. In CA under 21 can't have alcohol on board.

        Your friend is an idiot. If you guys go out in the future I would always plan an alternative way home. I promise he'll keep doing it until one day ......

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        • #5
          Time for some new friends. In BC, "L" and "N" drivers are not allow any alcohol in there systems. I think as long as you had a full class 5 driver with you and were in compliance with the rest of your conditions (one passenger, etc), his being drunk wouldn't have been a problem.

          Three blocks ago I went to an impaired single vehicle accident with a 25 yr drunk driver and an 18 yr old sober female. The guy is now facing a criminal charge, his car is a complete write off, and insurance won't pay for it because of the impaired charge. The guy went over a curb and skided arcoss a lawn sideways. He then went arcoss a side street and up over the next curb, and hit a tree with his rear end. He completely totalled the car. The trunk was caved in and the back seat broke loose and was resting against the drivers seats.

          And they were LUCKY!!! If the car had hit the tree on either side, the car would have been cut in half and one, if not both of them would have been killed.

          Just becareful

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          • #6
            Just the other week, I pulled over a truck for no tag lights. The passenger, and older gentleman (50's) stumbles out drunker than hell trying to talk to me. I finally get him back into the truck and say "what is it that your trying to tell me". Well, he said his son was driving the truck, who is 15, and has no license. Son is driving because dad is wasted. I cited the father for allowing an unlicensed child/ward to operate vehicle. I told the kid he did the right thing and let him go. Much rather 15 yo unlicensed driver to drive than .30 bac "Dad".
            press hard-5 copies

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            • #7
              My other concern though was her getting into an accident. If she got into an accident she wouldn't be insured because she didn't have an unimpaired licensed driver. Wouldn't an accident get her charged with something? I know they other driver would sue the pants off of her.

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              • #8
                The reason a licensed (competent) passenger is required is because the person with the learner's permit is presumably not experienced enough to drive without someone monitoring their actions.

                Is it a safer option than someone driving drunk, absolutely, but.....

                The driver with a temporary would be cited for no operator's license and the passenger would be cited for wrongful entrustment (permitting an unlicensed driver to drive) unless maybe they were completely passed out and I couldn't articulate that they gave consent for the other person to drive.

                I'm not trying to sound overly harsh but I have heard every story in the book from drunks who are "just trying to get home". Cab rides really aren't that expensive folks. If you stopped drinking 3 beers sooner that money would pay the cab fare. If you are going out for the purpose of getting drunk have a plan to get home that is safe and legal.

                I don't know why so many people are sitting drunk in a bar at 2 am and then they try to figure out how to get home. If those people could just spend some time on the scene of a DUI fatality maybe they'd get it.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kabal
                  The reason a licensed (competent) passenger is required is because the person with the learner's permit is presumably not experienced enough to drive without someone monitoring their actions.

                  Is it a safer option than someone driving drunk, absolutely, but.....

                  The driver with a temporary would be cited for no operator's license and the passenger would be cited for wrongful entrustment (permitting an unlicensed driver to drive) unless maybe they were completely passed out and I couldn't articulate that they gave consent for the other person to drive.

                  I'm not trying to sound overly harsh but I have heard every story in the book from drunks who are "just trying to get home". Cab rides really aren't that expensive folks. If you stopped drinking 3 beers sooner that money would pay the cab fare. If you are going out for the purpose of getting drunk have a plan to get home that is safe and legal.

                  I don't know why so many people are sitting drunk in a bar at 2 am and then they try to figure out how to get home. If those people could just spend some time on the scene of a DUI fatality maybe they'd get it.

                  How does being charged with driving without a license and driving while suspended differ? Is not having a license a criminal offence as well?

                  What do I do about the drunk who won't listen to me and is able to over-power me? I got his keys and then he took a chunk out of my hand and I dropped them.

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                  • #10
                    Learner driving w/o license.

                    Your question falls into the catagory of "The lossor of two evils". My Canadian colleagues have answered you from the perspective of Canadian Law. My personal observation is that the whole rather stupid, and potentially tragic situation, could have been avoided. This is true of most alcohol related accidents and fatalities. Hopefully, you have learned from this experience. I now refer you to Pete's comment regarding drunks. It says it all.

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                    • #11
                      You may also run into problems if the driver is a learner. The drunk owner is can still be considered as having care and control of the car if a learner who he is required to supervise, is operating the car. I registered a conviction out on the East coast a few years back for the then sect 236 offence. Drunk owner passenger and sober learner driver stops at a store. He goes inside & buys more booze. Comes back to the right front passenger seat and we nail him.

                      Here in BC it is also an offence to permit an unlicenced driver to drive. Owner could be charged. If you permit a learner to drive while you know she is not fulfilling the restrictions that make her licence legal, and If any sort of crash resulted, there would likely be civil problems for the owner and driver. Best plan is TO plan ahead. Nobody gets drunk by accident. If you can afford the booze you can afford a sober driver. Just ask yourself this question...what if my ex-wife/ex-husband's bottom feeding lawyer caught me doing it...what would he do?...then act accordingly.

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                      • #12
                        One word: Taxi.
                        No man is justified in doing evil on the grounds of expediency. - Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life: Essays and Addresses (1900)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Woodles
                          How does being charged with driving without a license and driving while suspended differ? Is not having a license a criminal offence as well?

                          What do I do about the drunk who won't listen to me and is able to over-power me? I got his keys and then he took a chunk out of my hand and I dropped them.
                          Where did the DUS come from? Don't remember comments about that. But, most of the time when I write somebody for no operator's license I give them a ticket (it's a first degree misdemeanor just like a DUS unless their license recently expired). If I get a DUS I arrest them and take them to the County Jail. Depending on the location of their vehicle (busy traffic area, no parking lots, etc) I will tow the vehicle. For certain types of suspensions (in my State) I am mandated by the Court to impound their vehicle as well as tow it and to hold the vehicle until the Judge releases it after they go to court.

                          You would much rather get a ticket for no op's than for DUS.

                          As for your drunk friend overpowering you and taking back his keys. He's an adult, if he wants his keys back let him have them. I can appreciate that you are trying to do the right thing. If you are concerned about his safety and/or about getting injured by him; call the police. he might get arrested for disorderly conduct based on the way you describe it. Better than a DUI and better than him getting killed in a mv crash.

                          The drunk friend overpowering you to get his keys, however, is a different situation than an unlicensed driver driving that friend home. If you are overpowered and forced into the car with him and made to drive him then we have a whole different scenario.

                          If this is a repetative problem with the same friend, have you tried to sit down and talk with him while he's sober? Explain your concerns as a friend. When he wants to go out drinking make him take a cab to the bar, or make him give his keys us while he's still sober. Then give the keys to someone else so he doesn't know who he has to overpower for the keys.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kabal
                            Where did the DUS come from? Don't remember comments about that. But, most of the time when I write somebody for no operator's license I give them a ticket (it's a first degree misdemeanor just like a DUS unless their license recently expired). If I get a DUS I arrest them and take them to the County Jail. Depending on the location of their vehicle (busy traffic area, no parking lots, etc) I will tow the vehicle. For certain types of suspensions (in my State) I am mandated by the Court to impound their vehicle as well as tow it and to hold the vehicle until the Judge releases it after they go to court.

                            You would much rather get a ticket for no op's than for DUS.

                            As for your drunk friend overpowering you and taking back his keys. He's an adult, if he wants his keys back let him have them. I can appreciate that you are trying to do the right thing. If you are concerned about his safety and/or about getting injured by him; call the police. he might get arrested for disorderly conduct based on the way you describe it. Better than a DUI and better than him getting killed in a mv crash.

                            The drunk friend overpowering you to get his keys, however, is a different situation than an unlicensed driver driving that friend home. If you are overpowered and forced into the car with him and made to drive him then we have a whole different scenario.

                            If this is a repetative problem with the same friend, have you tried to sit down and talk with him while he's sober? Explain your concerns as a friend. When he wants to go out drinking make him take a cab to the bar, or make him give his keys us while he's still sober. Then give the keys to someone else so he doesn't know who he has to overpower for the keys.

                            He's a little bit emotionally unstable. Even when he is sober he gets mad and defensive very easily. He's going through what he calls his "emo phase" and he's on meds for it, but I think he needs stronger ones or professional help. He's not the kind of person you can just sit down and talk to. He can get quite unpredictable when he's angry. I don't even think he should be allowed to drive until he takes some anger management classes or something. He's already been caught going 73 kph in 30 kph school zone. He blew it off and said that it's only because he was angry and that "he never speeds." (He does. He already have two speeding tickets.) He also somehow managed to smash his back window with his tiny window scraper because he got too mad while trying to scrape the frozen rain off his car one morning.

                            That's a good idea though with the keys. I would have never thought of doing that.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ufresdave
                              Just the other week, I pulled over a truck for no tag lights. The passenger, and older gentleman (50's) stumbles out drunker than hell trying to talk to me. I finally get him back into the truck and say "what is it that your trying to tell me". Well, he said his son was driving the truck, who is 15, and has no license. Son is driving because dad is wasted. I cited the father for allowing an unlicensed child/ward to operate vehicle. I told the kid he did the right thing and let him go. Much rather 15 yo unlicensed driver to drive than .30 bac "Dad".
                              Wait a sec, so you're saying you let a 15 y/o with no license drive way after you stopped him and wrote the passenger a ticket, or by "let him go" do you mean you just didn't write him a ticket?? If you let him drive away that's just asking for trouble. Imagine the liability on you if that kid were to get into an accident and it came out that he was just stopped by a police officer who knew he had no license and let him continue on driving.

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