Comparative and Contributory Negligence

7.13 – Negligence – Intoxication (Riding with Intoxicated Driver)

7.13 Negligence – Intoxication (Riding with Intoxicated Driver)

  1. In General
    A person who voluntarily has become intoxicated is required to act with the same care as a person who is sober. So long as such a person who is voluntarily intoxicated acts with the same degree of care for her/his own safety which an ordinary careful and sober person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances, then the intoxicated person is not comparatively negligent. But if you find that, by reason of her/his own voluntary abuse of intoxicating liquor, the plaintiff exposed herself/himself to a dangerous situation and sustained bodily injuries which a sober person in the exercise of ordinary foresight and care would have avoided, then you find that the voluntary intoxicated person has acted negligently.
  2. Riding with Intoxicated Driver
    A passenger in an automobile must act with appropriate care for her/his own safety as the demands of the situation reasonably require. To determine whether or not the plaintiff was negligent by voluntarily riding in a motor vehicle which was operated by an intoxicated person, you must decide whether an ordinary cautious and careful person, under the same or similar circumstances, would have risked riding with the driver. You must consider three factual issues: 

    1. Did the plaintiff voluntarily ride in an automobile operated by a person under the influence of intoxicating liquor/drugs after the plaintiff knew, or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known, of the driver’s condition?
    2. Would a reasonably cautious and careful person have avoided the risk of riding with such a driver under the same or similar circumstances?
    3. Was the intoxication of the driver a substantial contributing cause of the incident and the resulting injuries?

    If the answer to the three questions is yes, then the plaintiff was comparatively negligent. If you answer any of the three questions no, then the plaintiff was not comparatively negligent.

« Previous      Next »


Recognition held by some of our attorneys:

*No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Before making your choice of attorney, you should give this matter careful thought. The selection of an attorney is an important decision. For the comparison standards employed by the various lawyer rating companies, please visit,,,,, and Award is conferred on at least 100 lawyers per state, not 100 lawyers in America. Prior Results do not guarantee a similar outcome, nor does visiting this website create an attorney client relationship.*

Tell Us About Your Case

Don’t hesitate. Don’t wonder. Don’t field questions from aggressive insurance companies. Contact Gill & Chamas, LLC today.

Contact Us

We serve clients throughout New Jersey

  • Woodbridge
  • New Brunswick
  • East Brunswick
  • Edison
  • North Brunswick
  • South Brunswick
  • Piscataway
  • Linden, Clark
  • Rahway
  • Middletown
  • Old Bridge
  • Sayreville
  • Perth Amboy
  • Elizabeth
  • Newark
  • Union
  • Middlesex County
  • Union County
  • Somerset County
  • Monmouth County
  • Mercer County
  • Hudson County
  • Bergen County
  • Ocean County
  • Atlantic County
  • Bergen County
  • Burlington County
  • Essex County
  • Mercer County
  • Middlesex County
  • Monmouth County
  • Ocean County
  • Passaic County
  • Somerset County
  • Sussex County
  • Union County
  • Warren County

Contact Us

655 N Florida Grove Road
Woodbridge, NJ 07095

3509 U.S. 9
Howell Township, NJ 07731

Phone: 732-324-7600
Fax: 732-324-7606