Remaining In a Vehicle With An Intoxicated Driver As Contributory Negligence

The courts of Illinois state also have considered whether the actions of a personal injury plaintiff in remaining in a vehicle with an intoxicated driver constitute contributory negligence. (Rice v. Merchants National Bank (2nd Dist. 1991), 213 Ill. App. 3d 790, 572 N.E.2d 439, 157 Ill. Dec. 370.) In Rice, the Appellate Court affirmed a jury's verdict reducing an award by one-third because the plaintiff knew that beer was purchased near the beginning of the trip and that the driver consumed some of the beer. The plaintiff also had an opportunity to leave the car when it stopped at a restaurant.