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Teen Drinking

copyright 2011, all rights reserved

by Toby Rice Drews
author of the "Getting Them Sober" books


A legal precedent set --------

A few years ago, parents of an adult child, paid part of their son's car insurance and/or car payment.

This adult child had a history of alcoholism, that the parents (and others) knew about.

The adult child drove drunk and injured a person.

The attorney for the injured party did not just sue the drunk driver........he sued the parents (who had the ''deep pockets'' that their adult child did not have), claiming "contributory negligence".

The injured party would not 'settle' the case out-of-court... and had it brought to a jury... that watched the injured party enter the courtroom in a wheelchair.

The jury took all the assets of the parents-------

The court took everything the parents had-------house, vacation home, pensions------ all assets.

An appeals court upheld the decision.

It is very important for those who are presently paying even a small part of a still-drinking alcoholic's car payment and/or car insurance, to know this information.

That court case set a precedent in this country.

When we're understandably scared to say no to the alcoholic child...

I know that many of us family members are very reluctant to not help-out the alcoholic financially....we are afraid of losing their love, or afraid of never seeing them again when they threaten to leave and never return or ever call us again.

When it's out of perspective for us.......... when we still see the adult child as a baby who finds it too hard to walk a mile or so to work.......................

But we all must weigh the matter-------is it more important to listen to our irrational guilt, and believe that it is awful that the alcoholic has to take public transportation or walk......... possibly putting the entire assets of the family in jeopardy?

When we know this is all logical-------- but we're still too scared to change...........

It is so scary for most of us, to say 'no' when we've always said 'yes'. It could mean, as we all know, being and feeling abandoned, even if it is 'only' emotionally.

***** Is this one of those times when we know deep inside-------- that we need to protect ourselves--------- more than we need to do whatever the alcoholic wants us to do?

When we've been doing what he wants, for years, so that he'll not leave us, it feels terrifying.

But as with anything----- the more we act with self-protection and dignity---- the more it will become natural for us to do so-----and the easier it gets.

And the fears do start to let-up.

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