Drunk Driving Friend?
Joan Jerkovich - November 7, 2013 10:51 am
I met a friend for drinks at the bar and when she showed up it was apparent that she had already been drinking. We didn’t drink much, but when it was time to go home I could tell she was even tipsier. I’m guessing that if she got stopped she would have gotten charged for drunk driving. I knew she didn’t have far to drive but worried that she would make it home safely. Should I have insisted on driving her home?
You seem haunted by this dilemma and rightly so. We don’t carry breathalyzers with us for just this sort of event, yet, even if we did would we approach a friend about their drinking and driving? This can be a touchy subject, especially for that frequent drinker who may have a drinking problem that they are in denial about.
I think your approach boils down to personality. If you’re an assertive person, who has a strong inclination toward following the rules, you will probably be more inclined to take your drunken friends’ keys away. If you’re a more “live and let live” person you’ll just hope they get home safely. Whatever your personality, you could give some thought to approaching your friend about her drinking. Approach her, obviously when she’s sober, with care and concern and tell her how worried you felt when you let her drive home in her tipsy state. The next time this happens, I think that since you have been haunted by this dilemma, you will make the decision to drive your friend home. Intervening before a drunken friend gets behind the wheel of a car is being a good citizen in your community. We thank you for that!
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• Thinking through this scenario, what will you plan to do with a drunken friend the next time this happens?
• How can you “be a friend” if you determine that she does have a drinking problem?
• How can you be more aware of your inner voice, the one that tells you to take action?
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