May 20 by Ralph L. Jacobson

The legal liability of a social host in California

It happens more than it should. Someone (here we will call her Ms. H.) invites some friends, maybe a lot of friends and maybe their friends as well, to a social gathering, where food and drink, lots of drink, is provided. Something bad happens, either to one of the guests at the party, or maybe…

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Jun 01 by GJEL

Drunk Driving and Car Accident Statistics

As part of GJEL’s state-by-state drunk driving laws and driving fatality research, Steve Gursten, a partner at Michigan Auto Law, recently shared these updated statistics about drunk driving and auto accidents in Michigan. Steve has been very active in promoting efforts to reduce drunk driving and car accidents in Michigan. This guest blog post analyzes car accidents and wrongful deaths from 2009, the latest year with available data.

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Jan 14 by GJEL

California Bicyclists Arrested for Cycling Under the Influence

You would never get behind the wheel of your car drunk. But you would probably be more likely to get on a bicycle after one too many drinks. At least that was the case for five cyclists arrested for cycling under the influence near Los Angeles yesterday. The arrested cyclists, all between the ages of 18 and 22, were riding with 15 other cyclists when a California Highway Patrol Officer witnessed a member of the group crash into the pavement at 1:30 am.

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Dec 23 by GJEL

Major California Cities Offer Free Rides to Avoid Drunk Driving on New Year’s Eve

Each year, holiday weekends are the most vulnerable to DUI arrests and accidents. Each year, for example, about 40 people are killed and 2,100 people are injured in accidents over Christmas weekend, according to the California Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System. Of those, 23 of the deaths and 431 of the injuries resulted from alcohol-related crashes. The numbers are nearly identical for New Years Eve weekend. To improve this daunting statistic, major California cities are joining others nationwide in offering free public transportation on New Years Eve. See what cities are providing free cab and public transportation fares this holiday season.

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Sep 02 by GJEL

California Cracks Down on Drunk Driving on Dangerous Labor Day Weekend

Like we’re back in school, 34.4 million Americans, including more than 4 million Californians will join me this Friday night to travel more than 50 miles to a vacation getaway for the long Labor Day weekend. In California and across the country, this holiday weekend’s travel predictions mark a ten percent increase over 2009 numbers, which indicates that it will be marked by more traffic, and likely more accidents, than last year.

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Aug 05 by GJEL

Driver of SUV Struck in Fresno Greyhound Bus Accident Was Drunk

Two weeks ago, a Greyhound bus carrying 31 passengers collided with an overturned SUV near Fresno, California. The accident, which killed six and injured dozens, was tragic and proved the necessity of stricter highway safety regulations. Though Greyhound has had its share of tragic bus accidents over the past decade, new information indicates that this crash was likely not the driver’s fault. A coroner announced today that autopsy results indicate that the driver of the overturned Chevrolet Trailblazer was drunk when her car capsized in the middle of the highway.

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Jul 06 by GJEL

California Senate Holds Adults Responsible for Alcohol-Related Wrongful Deaths

We wrote in May that California lawmakers were considering a bill that would end a liability loophole for adults responsible for teen drinking. Currently, California is one of only three states that don’t hold “social hosts” accountable when a teenager is killed by illegal alcohol consumption. But last Thursday, the California state Senate unanimously passed a bill that would hold eliminate the liability loophole if Governor Schwarzenegger signs it in to law.

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May 25 by Ben

California Targets Liability Loophole for Alcohol-Related Wrongful Death Suits

Many ethical issues related to alcohol consumption are notoriously shaded in gray. Ideally, it would be up to the consumer to set his or her own limits to avoid drinking dangerously. But since so many in our culture are destructive drinkers, some need an extra line of defense in the form of a bartender or party host refusing that last drink to a patron or a driver. That’s why California lawmakers are pushing to close a state loophole that lets bartenders and hosts off the hook for alcohol-related injuries or wrongful death claims.

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