Dear Abby: Many wives write you about problems with their husbands who drink too much. If they live in a community property state, there’s something important they need to know.

If the husband drives drunk and causes an injury, both the wife and husband may be named as co-defendants — even if the wife wasn’t involved. And if the injured party is successful in the lawsuit, the co-defendants together must pay.

Wives who tolerate their husband’s refusal to stop drinking need to be aware of the economic hammer the law could have hanging over them. I just went through this experience.

Had I known the law in our community property state would lump me in, I would have had a powerful reason to divorce my husband years ago after I realized he would never give up drinking.

Getting The Word

Out in Phoenix

Dear Getting: Thank you for teaching me and my readers something. If someone has a spouse of EITHER sex with an alcohol problem who gets behind the wheel of a car, for their own protection, they should consult their lawyer and their insurance agent about what the ramifications could lead to.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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