Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. I'm not sure you can answer this, but I have always wondered - if someone knows a person is driving without a license or on a suspended license (like a spouse, girlfriend, parent), and the person without a license gets in an accident and harms someone, why isn't the person who knew but didn't report the violation legally responsible too? It always deeply disturbs me that repeat offenders hurt or kill someone, and others MUST have know they were driving illegally, but didn't do anything to stop it.
Dear Juneau Resident,
You bring up an issue that officers run into fairly often. It is a separate crime to allow an unlicensed person to drive your vehicle. We can charge the vehicle owner if we can prove that the vehicle owner knew the driver was not licensed. If an owner claims ignorance or actually did not know, officers can and do advise the owner and document the disclosure so the next time officers can charge the owner.
As far as family members knowing and turning a blind eye, that doesn't transfer any criminal liability to the person who is not addressing the behavior. The public's obligation to police each other is generally not a formal requirement, just the right thing to do.