Most people are well aware of the dangers of driving under the influence. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), drunk driving is the number one cause of death on U.S. roadways. However, while the dangers are well-established, stepping in and stopping a friend or relative from driving when they seem too drunk to drive is easier said than done.
It can be challenging to prevent someone from getting behind the wheel after a few drinks. They may insist they feel okay or get defensive if you confront them about being inebriated. However, not doing so could the lives of themselves and others on the road at risk. If you have a loved one who is about to drive drunk, here are a few things you can do to stop them:
1. Designate a sober ride
One of the best ways to avoid someone in your party driving drunk is by assigning a designated driver before you go out for the night. This person will remain sober and drive everyone home, so you won’t have to worry about any uncomfortable conversations at the end of the evening.
2. Avoid being confrontational
Remember that you are talking to someone who is impaired if you have to stop them from driving. Alcohol may increase feelings of anger or aggression in some people, so you mustn’t try to argue or physically stop them. Talk to them slowly, calmly and politely and explain that you do not want them to harm themselves or others.
3. Suggest alternatives
There are usually plenty of other options a person can use to get a sober ride home. If someone appears too intoxicated to drive, suggest that they call a cab or use a rideshare app, use public transportation or call a sober friend for a ride.
4. Contact the authorities
If you’ve tried everything but can’t get your friend to hand over their keys, it might be necessary to call the police and report them. Your friend might be upset, but an arrest is far better than a potentially serious or fatal accident.
Preventing someone you love from driving drunk is easier said than done, but it’s the responsible thing to do. By following these tips, you can ensure that your loved ones always get home safely.