Turo car rental- who is liable if illegal drugs are found

Posted at 4:24 PM, Feb 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-02 18:39:58-05

Turo has already been put to use in the Treasure Valley. Drivers can pick the type of car they'd like and rent it, but where would the liability fall if there was illegal drugs in the car?

Whether the driver knows it or not, Idaho state police officers say the laws are cut and dry.

"We have individuals who rent cars all the time and traffic drugs and more often than not, when you stop them and start talking to them, they're like well these aren't mine, these were in here when I started, but based on training experience, the way we interview, look for types of behaviors, we ask stories about where they're coming from, where they're going," said Corporal Kenny Walker, Idaho State Police.

If you are behind the wheel and something left behind by the renter of your vehicle is found by police, you're the one who will be charged.

"If you found an amount that's on a felony level. I mean the person is going to be arrested, the vehicle is going to be seized, the contraband is going to be seized. All those things are normal in the normal day to day operations that we have."

"So for instance if someone is renting a vehicle from me, I would hope that the person that's renting the vehicle would check to make sure the safety features are working, make sure the seat belts are working, make sure the tires are inflated correctly, those types of things. So, it falls on the individual who's renting the vehicle to make sure and check the vehicle, check the trunk. Make sure that's there's nothing that's illegal."

It's not just illegal drugs that apply.

"Make sure that there's nothing under the seats. This is Idaho so a lot of people have personal weapons that they keep under the seat or they keep in their glove box. You know if someone whose renting out their vehicle forgot to remove that from their vehicle, it could be left in there so it falls on the person that's renting the vehicle."

If you're renting a car, Corporal Walker says heck it out first to make sure you're not breaking any laws and the car is in working order. If you're renting out your car, check it afterward. If you find something illegal, alert the police.