How to Keep Your Friend from Driving Drunk
It’s probably happened to you at one time or another – you’ve gone out with some friends, they’ve had several drinks, and are headed toward their car. You know they shouldn’t drive, but what should you do? It’s the age old dilemma; how to keep your friend from driving drunk without coming across as paranoid or lame. Here are a few simple tips to help make sure your friend doesn’t get behind the wheel.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up. The right thing isn’t always the most popular thing, but if it could save a life, you shouldn’t think twice about taking action.
- Be non-confrontational. If you outright accuse your friend of being too drunk to drive, they may get angry or defensive and more difficult to reason with. Instead, kindly and calmly suggest alternate transportation. Suggest that you’ve both had a few too many drinks, and ask if they’d be willing to split a cab or other public transportation with you. If you’re driving, offer a ride or suggest they sleep over.
- Communicate that it’s for their benefit. Let your friend know that you care about them and you don’t want them to hurt themselves or others. Explain how easy it is to hop on the bus or call a cab.
- Grab backup. Get a friend or two to help your cause – it’s more difficult to say “no” to several people than it is to one. You’re friend may take you more seriously if your whole crew agrees with you.
- Grab the keys. If you can get your hands on their keys, do so – especially if they are becoming more combative. Having the keys in your possession will give you some leverage.
- Finally, call the police. If nothing seems to be working, call law enforcement. It’s always better to have a friend mad at you for a few days than hurt or killed.
Can you think of other clever ways to keep your friend from drinking and driving? Alcohol impairs judgment, and it’s our job as friends to take care of one another.
You can usually avoid this situation altogether by assigning a designated driver before going out, but on occasion, situations change, and you should always be prepared to give your friends some tough love in the name of safety.
For even more tips and tricks that will help you keep others from drinking and driving, check out friendsdrivesober.org.