How to Stop a Friend From Driving
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How to Stop a Friend From Driving Impaired
If a friend or someone you know has been drinking
while at a party or "out on the town," they shouldn't
drive, so please prevent them from doing so. Many people believe
that coffee, a cold shower, or fresh air is all that's needed to
overcome the effects of alcohol. In truth, time is the only way
to get alcohol out of the system. If a friend of yours has been
drinking, he or she shouldn't drive. There are steps you can take
to keep a friend alive. 1
- Be proactive. Talk with your friends before they
go out. Pick a designated driver, arrange for a sober driver to
pick you up, or bring enough money for a cab or public transportation.
- Politely, but firmly, tell them you cannot let
them drive home because you care. The first time you do this will
be the toughest, but your actions could save your friend's life
or that of an innocent victim. 1
- Drive your friend home. You're having a party and
one of your friends has had too much to drink and should not drive.
To be sure your friend arrives home safely, you can drive him
or her yourself, if you haven't also been drinking. 2
- Call a cab. If you can't drive your friend home,
you can call a cab. You may want to pay the fare in advance. That's
one way to show you really care. 2
- Have your friend sleep over. Asking a guest to
sleep over is another good way to keep a friend from driving.
You won't have to drive and your friend won't have to return the
next day for the car. 2
- Take the keys away. Here are some hints on how
to get the keys from a drunken person before he or she can drive:
- Be calm. Joke about it. Make light of it.
- Make it clear that you're doing him a favor by taking their
- Find the keys while he is distracted and take them away.
They'll probably think they've lost them and will be forced
to let someone else drive.
- If it is a close friend, be soft and calm. Speak to him
or her privately and suggest that they let someone else drive,
or take a cab or a bus.
- If it is a good friend, spouse, or loved one, refuse to
get in the car with them. Tell him or her you will ride with
someone else, take public transportation, or walk.
- If you don't know the person well, speak to their friends
and ask them to help get the keys.
- If possible, do not embarrass the person or be confrontational.
- Whatever you do, don't give in. 4 About one-third
(32%) of persons of driving age have been with a friend who may
have had too much to drink to drive safely, including half of
those under age 30. Most of these (80%) tried to stop the friend
from driving and were successful in preventing the impaired person
from driving about 75% of the time. Friends don't let friends
drink and then drive. In the morning, you'll have a safer, and
maybe an even closer, friend. 5
1. Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Prevent a Friend
from Driving Drunk. Retrieved on January 20, 2004 from the World
Wide Web: http://www.maddpikespeak.org/prevent.html
2. Minnesota Safety Council. December is Drunk and
Drugged Driving Prevention Month: What can you do. Retrieved on
January 20, 2004 from the World Wide Web: http://www.mnsafetycouncil.org/nets/Winter01.pdf
3. How Do You Stop Someone From Driving Drunk. Retrieved
on January 20, 2004 from the World Wide Web: http://www.nchpdp.med.va.gov/NationalHealthObservances/2003December/
4. Public Broadcasting System. Just One Night. Retrieved
on January 20, 2004 from the World Wide Web: http://www.pbs.org/justone/justo3.htm
5. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
National Survey of Drinking and Driving Attitudes and Behaviors,
2001. Retrieved on January 20, 2004 from the World Wide Web: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/alcohol/traffic-tech2003/TT280.pdf