If You are Unable to Prevent a Drinker from Driving
We’ve all been there. A friend, a loved one, or a stranger has had a bit too much to drink and they’re insisting on driving. You’ve tried to take the keys, offered a ride, even suggested a cab, but they’re not budging. What do you do when you’re unable to prevent a drinker from driving?
In this article, I’ll share some practical steps you can take in such a situation. We’ll discuss how to handle the situation safely and responsibly, and the potential legal implications if you don’t. This isn’t just about preventing a potential tragedy – it’s about understanding our role and responsibility in these situations.
Encourage Alternative Transportation Methods
When you’re faced with a situation where a friend is insistent on driving after a few too many drinks, aiming to provide them with alternative options is a crucial step in securing their safety and preventing a potential disaster.
Offer to Call a Cab or Rideshare Service
Instead of letting anyone hazardously hit the road, why not suggest the ease of a cab or a rideshare service? If the person is resistant, they might just need a bit more coaxing. Highlight that services like Uber or Lyft are just a few taps away. I’ll tell you – it’s cheaper than a DUI. Safety must always be prioritized over cost.
Consider splitting the fare among the group. This type of camaraderie goes a long way in dissuading a drunk individual from causing harm by driving.
Provide Information on Public Transportation Options
Public transportation isn’t just eco-friendly – it’s one way of keeping drunk drivers off the road. But that hinges on the availability and accessibility of these services in your area. Subways, trains, or bus routes might just save a life if they can take someone home safely.
Have information at hand – maps, schedules, or app-based services – whatever might incentivize them to leave their car parked.
Suggest Designated Drivers or Ride Shares
Designated drivers are the unsung heroes of late-night gatherings. Offer to be one, or suggest somebody else for the role. The sober driver can rotate among friends, making it a collective responsibility.
Alternatively, ride shares can also be a reliable choice. Arrange to meet at a convenient location and take just one vehicle. This way, there’s less chance of someone deciding to drive home drunk because they’re worried about leaving their car behind.
Create a Safer Environment
The following strategies aim to keep everyone safe when someone’s had too much to drink. Rather than trying to deal with the problem after it has occurred, being proactive can make a big difference.
Remove Car Keys or Hide Them
One practical measure to prevent a potential drinker from hitting the road is to proactively remove their car keys. If you’re hosting a gathering where alcohol will be served, it’s within your right and responsibilities to ensure that the keys are out of sight and reach. By doing so, we can effectively reduce the chance of a drunk driving incident.
Offer an Overnight Stay
While it’s understandable that cost factors might come into play when considering alternatives to impaired driving, the reality is that safety should outweigh financial considerations every time. If you’re hosting a party, consider offering your guests a place to stay overnight. This might mean pulling out a few extra blankets and pillows, but it’ll be worth it for everyone’s peace of mind. Keeping a friend from risking their lives and those of others on the road is truly priceless.
Monitor the Drinker’s Intoxication Level
As a host, your responsibility doesn’t end with providing food and drink. It’s also crucial to monitor guests’ alcohol consumption and adjust as necessary. You can look for signs of intoxication like slurred speech, stumbling, or lethargic movements. If someone is showing these signs, it’s a clear indicator that they shouldn’t be getting behind the wheel anytime soon. It might be uncomfortable to have these conversations, but it’s paramount for the safety of your guest and others on the road.
Creating a safer environment involves a combination of these strategies. It’s key to stay alert and proactive throughout the night. Keeping an eye on your guests and their alcohol intake can help prevent unpleasant or even dangerous situations from escalating. Setting the expectations early on and ensuring everyone is on the same page with these safety precautions can make all the difference in the world.