Drunk driver’s wife has dire warn­ing for other spouses

The Western Star - - LIFE - Abi­gail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Many wives write you about problems with their hus­bands who drink too much. If they live in a com­mu­nity prop­erty state, there’s some­thing im­por­tant they need to know. If the hus­band drives drunk and causes an in­jury, both the wife and hus­band may be named as co-de­fen­dants — even if the wife wasn’t in­volved. And if the in­jured party is suc­cess­ful in the law­suit, the code­fen­dants to­gether must pay.

Wives who tol­er­ate their hus­band’s re­fusal to stop drink­ing need to be aware of the eco­nomic ham­mer the law could have hang­ing over them. I just went through this ex­pe­ri­ence. Had I known the law in our com­mu­nity prop­erty state would lump me in, I would have had a pow­er­ful rea­son to di­vorce my hus­band years ago af­ter I real­ized he would never give up drink­ing. — GET­TING THE WORD OUT IN PHOENIX

DEAR GET­TING: Thank you for teach­ing me and my read­ers some­thing. If some­one has a spouse of EI­THER sex with an al­co­hol prob­lem who gets be­hind the wheel of a car, for their own pro­tec­tion, they should con­sult their lawyer and their in­sur­ance agent about what the ram­i­fi­ca­tions could lead to. Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.Dear­Abby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

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