As awareness for Drink Driving increases here in Australia, there are more and more people not only realising how unsafe it is for them but noticing friends, family members and others not getting the message and unsure of what they can do to prevent them driving unsafely.
The biggest challenge these people face is they are literally stuck between a rock and a hard place.
A Drink Driving problem has two key elements, Drinking and Driving (Derr?) But if we can't stop them drinking, what can we do about the driving?
1. Control the Keys
If your friend has driven to a party and they're drinking you've got to get the keys off them some how. First you can try them when they're sober and a little more rational. "Hey, if you're going to have a few I'll take the keys and drive us both later."
If that doesn't work, you can try them when they're a little more drunk. "Hey, I've got to put something in your car, can I borrow the keys?"
If you do manage to get the keys a great idea can be to shift the car, if they're drunk enough and can't find it you can suggest they should go with you.
2. Call a Cab
If your friend gets really drunk at a party and tolerance of most people is wearing thin, you'd be surprised how many would be willing to chip in a little for her to get a cab home. Book it and when it shows up make sure you pay it in advance and give the cab driver explicit instructions. It's even better if you can take the time to accompany them home.
3. Get them to "Crash"
Convincing someone who's drunk to crash the night at your place is a lot easier than you might think. All it takes is a little allure, there is nothing more enticing for someone who's drunk than food. "If you crash at mine we'll grab some food on the way." "I've got some food at mine if you want to crash?" Most of the time they've forgotten about the food and are just looking to sleep before you even get home.
4. Organise a "Des"
If the nights being pre-planned, organise a designated driver. Having a Des for the night lets you know who can, and who can't drink. Knowing your friend cannot drive themselves because they came with you can add a real sense of relief to the night and let you relax.
5. Drive them home
If you've both driven get a sober friend to follow you in your car, while you drive you drunken friend home in their car. This works out great for everyone, you can get back to the party and continue your night knowing your friend is safe and won't have to try and get back to their car the following day.
6. D&M Moment
If you can't manage any of these things then it's time to get serious. Sit them down and have a real deep and meaningful chat to them. Let them know how much they mean to you and how much you don't want to see them get hurt or hurt others and how you wouldn't be able to live with yourself if you could have prevented it. You could get a good sloppy, drunken hug out of it.
7. Get help!
Sometimes trying to convince someone alone is just too difficult but getting some other sober friends, or friends who are more in charge of themselves to help talk them out of driving home drunk can be a great idea. The more people you can get involved the more likely their keys will mysteriously disappear and a spare mattress will be set up somewhere.
If there is no one there who is able to help, as a last ditch effort to prevent them from driving; call the Police for help. It is a daunting step but they're always there to make sure everyone is safe.
You may not always be able to convince everyone not to drink and drive but hopefully these few steps will help.
Of course you can always keep a good Personal Breathalyser on hand and physically show your friend just how far over the limit they are and if they're not worried about their safety, maybe they will worry about the cost of a fine, having their drivers licence taken off them or spending some time in gaol.