Although the number of people using designated drivers has increased in recent years, the number of drunken driving deaths still remains high.
Stopping a friend or associate from driving when under the influence of alcohol isn’t always easy. Many people that are inebriated have an elevated level of confidence and feel they are in total control.
Control the Car Keys
There are a number of steps to keep friends from operating a motor vehicle after heavy alcohol consumption. One of the best approaches is taking control of their car keys if possible. There are a number of excuses one can make to borrow their keys such as wanting to retrieve an item or needing to move the car from its location.
Another tactic is simply asking to borrow the car to make a run down to the store. This way, you’ll be able to drive the individual home safely.
Get Assistance from Others
Convincing a friend that has had too much to drink not to drive often takes a group effort. This usually is much more effective than doing it alone. When seeking help from others, always remain calm and be honest. Communicate that you are concerned about your friend’s safety and the safety of others due to his or her drunken state.
This will allow you to garner more support and a concerted effort can be made to stop the person from getting behind the wheel. When no one is there to help and the situation is desperate, it’s advisable to call the authorities for assistance.
Call a Taxi Service
If you are at a party or similar function and a friend becomes highly inebriated, then it’s in everyone’s interest to send the individual home in a taxicab. Be sure and pay the taxi driver in advance and give explicit directions to the intended destination.
To ensure that the friend arrives safely you might want to accompany them. If the friend doesn’t want to cooperate it might be necessary to become more assertive. However, take steps to avoid an embarrassing situation and never provoke a physical or verbal confrontation.
Agree on a Designated Driver
When friends are getting together or going out and alcohol will be involved, it’s important to plan ahead regarding safe transportation from the event. Designating a driver beforehand relieves all the pressure and introduces the certainty on who is able to drink. By accepting this responsibility in advance, everyone attending the function can relax and enjoy themselves without worries about an accident later on.
Drunken Driving Fatalities
The importance of stopping friends from driving drunk cannot be underestimated. Approximately a third of traffic related deaths occur from drunken driving fatalities. The highest risk groups are young drivers, motorcyclists, and motorists with prior driving under the influence convictions.
Common injuries leading to fatalities include head trauma, loss of blood and damage to internal organs. Typically, alcohol stays in the blood stream for approximately one hour per ounce of beverage consumed. Even a small amount can impair reaction time and result in a roadway fatality.
This article is a contribution by the folks at Tulsa DUI Guy, a Tulsa criminal defense attorney law firm, to promote and encourage safe drinking practices in your community.