“Key in the Ignition Statute” Will Hold Vehicle Owner Liable for Deaths of Pedestrians Struck by Drunk Driver Who Had Stolen the Vehicle

When Joe Guerrero left his keys in the ignition of his car with the engine running while he went into a deli last weekend, a drunken man stole his vehicle and then ran down 2 pedestrians. Even though Mr. Guerrero was not driving or occupying the vehicle and had not given the drunk driver, a stranger to him, permission to drive his vehicle, he will be liable to the families of the 2 pedestrians for causing their deaths. This is true because of Vehicle and Traffic Law 1210(a), sometimes called the “key in the ignition statute.” This statute makes the … Read the rest