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How to Talk to a Friend about Drunk Driving

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How to Talk to a Friend about Drunk Driving

How to Talk to a Friend about Drunk Driving Photo: Daniel Olnes

You may be wondering how to approach someone about their drinking and driving habits – when you know someone who drinks and drives, it can be a heavy burden to bear. You may be afraid of how your loved one, friend, or acquaintance will react. Will they be in denial? Will they lash out? Will it destroy your relationship?

If you are the least bit worried, it’s time to have a potentially life-saving conversation. Keep in mind that addiction is a disease, and while you can bring the issue to the table, it’s best to enlist professional help to create a long-term solution. Below are some tips to start a conversation and help avoid drinking-and-driving situations.

Have a conversation. Plan a time when your loved one is sober to let them know that you believe they have a problem with drinking and driving. Be prepared for denial, anger, and/or defensiveness. Ask questions (Do you think there are ways to avoid drinking and driving? How can I help? Etc.), and take time to really listen.

Check out our free infographic. Share the facts with your friend to display some of the real numbers behind drunk driving tragedy.

Recommend they get professional help. While you may have only the best intentions, what your loved one really needs is professional help. Your goal should be to get them to agree to see a therapist or enroll in a rehab program. In some cases, just mentioning how uncomfortable you are with their drunk driving habits may change their behavior, but often, the problem runs much deeper.

Be supportive. The most important thing you can do is be a support system. Make sure your loved one knows they can come to you for anything, and do your best to keep communication open.

In the event you are in a scenario where someone you know is about to get behind the wheel after drinking, here are some tips for preventing someone from driving drunk.

For more information and to find support in your area, visit