What to Do If You Know Someone Who Drives Under the Influence
Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is a dangerous thing to do. If you know someone who drives after consuming beer, liquor or other alcoholic beverages, it is important to take action. This is not a good habit to be in. Actions may range from simply taking that person’s keys away to reporting them to authorities. Here is what you should do.
Talk About the Consequences of Drunk Driving
Those who know a person who drives after consuming alcohol may want to have a long talk with that person. The conversation should encompass the legal consequences of getting a DUI as well as the danger that other drivers face because he or she drives while drunk. To help with this, you could start spouting off some facts to them.
One that may be impactful, for example, is the knowledge that a third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States are caused by those under the influence. Death isn’t prejudiced—men, women, and children die and 16% of traffic-related children deaths are DUI-related as well. This can lead to more than just a DUI charge. In fact, it can lead to manslaughter charges too.
Take the Keys Away
If you see that a friend, colleague or relative is drunk, don’t let that person drive. All you need to do is take away his or her keys or ask a third person to take them away. If you know that an individual is prone to getting drunk, ask to take the keys before the drinking starts as he or she may be more agreeable to your suggestion at that time. It may also be a good idea to talk about alternative transportation options such as calling a taxi or an Uber driver.
Offer to Be a Designated Driver
People may drive while intoxicated because they don’t feel comfortable leaving their car at a bar or other establishment. They may also lack the funds to pay for a taxi or other transportation services. By offering to drive a friend or relative after a night out, it may reduce the odds that he or she will get into their vehicle while impaired. Some establishments do offer free drinks or food for those who act as designated drivers, so you could benefit from your generosity.
Don’t Be Afraid to Call 911
If someone you know is driving while intoxicated, you should call the authorities. While this person may not like that you caused him or her to get a DUI conviction, it is better than allowing that person to get into an accident resulting in injury or death. Typically, you don’t have to give your name, so it may be possible to take action without revealing your identity.
Driving Under The Influence Is A Choice
Those who engage in impaired driving are not necessarily bad people. Instead, they are people who have made errors in judgment and who are entitled to the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Do what you can to help them learn that driving under the influence is definitely not the cool thing to do.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism.