By Alfred Villoch, III, with Savage, Combs & Villoch, PLLC
For the honest but unfortunate debtor, bankruptcy will discharge your unsecured debts and give you the fresh start that you need to rebuild your life and strengthen your financial well being. But then there are certain debts that are simply inescapable, even in bankruptcy. One inescapable debt is a debt arising from injuring or killing someone while driving, boating, or flying intoxicated.
Section 523(9) of the United States Bankruptcy Code states that a person cannot discharge debts “for death or personal injury caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft if such operation was unlawful because the debtor was intoxicated from using alcohol, a drug, or another substance.” Before this section, there existed an unconscionable loophole where drunk drivers could evade financial responsibility for the injuries that they caused.