Drunk Driver Sues Friend Who 'Let' Him Drive Drunk & Kill 2 Teens

Say What!? 15

Talk about refusing to take any blame! A repeat drunk driver was convicted in a crash that killed two teenagers. But he's now suing his drinking buddy and the two restaurants that served him alcohol. He's actually seeking monetary damages from the friend he was out drinking with that night, as well as Applebee's and Blue Corn Cafe in New Mexico, for "emotional distress" and "loss of liberty and enjoyment of life." This from the man who killed two teens. Something tells me he doesn't appreciate the irony.

James Ruiz was reportedly out on bond after his FIFTH drunk driving arrest when he -- what else? -- went out drinking with a pal and had three times the legal limit of booze in his system when he rammed into a car containing teens Del Lynn Peshlakai and her sister Deshauna, who are 19 and 17. They were killed.

Ruiz was sentenced to 40 years in jail. And apparently he's still not taking responsibility for what he did. Not only is he suing the restaurants for serving him -- not an uncommon occurrence -- but his buddy for "letting" him drive drunk. As if his buddy could have stopped him, I'm sure. He had already been arrested for drunk driving five times. If the five arrests didn't stop him from thinking about the sixth, I'm pretty sure there's nothing his friend could have done to stop him.

Maybe his friend was supposed to knock him over the head, render him unconscious so he couldn't drive? Then he'd be suing about that.

His friend, Gilberto Mendoza, reportedly is the one who gave Ruiz the keys to the truck he was driving when he rammed into the Peshlakai sisters. He claims that the only reason the sisters were killed is because of the "chain of events" that his friend and the restaurants set in motion. Way to try and avoid responsibility.

You should always try to do anything you can to stop someone from driving drunk -- but it's a gray area. What if the person becomes violent or belligerent with you? This case is so screwy that Ruiz couldn't even find a lawyer sleazy enough to file it for him -- so he did it himself.

Have you ever stopped anyone from driving drunk? Do you think the friend was partially responsible for what happened?


Image via Tim Pearce Los Gatos/Flickr

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Autum... Autumnleaves87

Unbelievable. Repeat drunk drivers are the scum of the earth. You didn't get the message the first time that drunk driving KILLS innocent people?



It's may seem insane that this guy is trying to blame other people, but restaurants and the employees serving alcohol are somewhat to blame, too, absolutely. The friend? Im not so sure.



I guess the lesson here is, if there's any chance you have to keep someone intoxicated from getting behind the wheel, you need to take it. Call the police if you have to. It's worth the life you are saving!

nonmember avatar kim

This story is just horrible and this that's claim is just ridiculous. He needs to stop being a heartless pussy, take responsibility for his irresponsible, reckless, and stupid actions and stop adding more insult to the pain of his victims' family.

Vegeta Vegeta

He only got caught drunk driving 5 times, how many other times did he not get caught. Why is this dick not in jail?

sofia... sofia0587

That's because only in America can you sue for stupid shit and somehow win!

wamom223 wamom223

I agree with Autumleaves on this one.  It is the responsibility of the server not to over serve.  But I think this man should have lost his license years ago or had one of those things in his car that tests for sobriety before you can start the car.  I also agree with Autumleaves about all of us taking the responsibility to call the cops when you know someone is drinking and driving.  The key is when you call is to make it clear you are calling because someone is driving erraticallyor you know they are drunk and driving.  I have cut people off, I have made people spend the night at my house, and I have even jumped on a friends back until he gave me his keys.  I lost my ex-boyfriend to drinking and driving my senior year and every day I am reminded by how much of life he missed out on.  Do your part and you could save some one's life!

Jessica Stieger

When are people going to start taking responsibility for their own actions! He is to blame, because he chose to go out and drink in the first place! Grow up and man up already!

Sarahm24 Sarahm24

I dont understand how he still had his liscence, I think if they're a repeat offender for drunk driving they should put them on a list like sex offenders. Or the judge should of done a court ordered rehab, but sometimes that doesnt help.

nonmember avatar Ray D

Two words : Scum Bag!!!!

Angela Hoffman Moss

Repeat drunk drivers are such a common thing thing here. Mr. Ruiz being a fifth time offender is, unfortunately, common. And to note, the server at one of the restaurants mentioned was punished and the restaurants have paid their fines.

Kari Farkas Travis

Just because he was driving doesn't mean he had his license...those kind of people would drive without a license!  Scum of the earth, absolutely!  And it is his own fault.  If he knew he was going to go out drinking, then make arrangements before hand...it is not anyone's fault but his own!

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