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(60,356 posts)
Tue Oct 29, 2013, 02:12 AM Oct 2013

Need advice on how to talk to a friend about her driving home after drinking.

I've never been confronted with this issue and I don't know how to bring it up with her. She's a friend, coworker and favorite Happy Hour partner who does not get smashed, but is a little too confident in her ability to get herself home safely. Where she lives, public transportation is not an option (I don't have a car, myself) and I worry that she thinks a little buzz is no big deal. How have you handled this?

12 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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(19,389 posts)
1. Tough one because "smashed" and "impaired" are not mutually exclusive.
Tue Oct 29, 2013, 02:31 AM
Oct 2013

And either one can be fatal to her or an innocent. If I was really concerned after an evening out I'd take her keys, call a cab and pay for it, and make arrangements to get her and her car back together the next day.

However, you want to talk to her before the incident occurs and I'd just be upfront about your concerns. The odds are she will get upset,and possibly not want to enjoy a cocktail with you again, but she needs to hear the truth. Sorry Randy, but there's no easy way to say it.


(131,670 posts)
2. True, there's no easy way to deal with this sort of thing,
Tue Oct 29, 2013, 02:35 AM
Oct 2013

and unpleasant reactions can be expected. One of those difficult life situations, but if lucky, the friend is thankful, at least eventually.


(19,389 posts)
3. Thanks ellen, and I was a little abrupt in my initial response...
Tue Oct 29, 2013, 02:42 AM
Oct 2013

I would begin the conversation by letting her know that I cared about her and was concerned for her safety. Then give her the message and follow up with more affirmation about my concern for her. Kind of a "fluff fluff, slam, fluff fluff" technique. Hopefully that help to reach her.

But the bottom line is that if I really felt that a friend was risking their own and other's safety I would not let it slide.


(5,909 posts)
5. Unfortunately, a lot of people feel like they're infallible until they get popped for DUI
Tue Oct 29, 2013, 09:21 AM
Oct 2013

and hopefully not after hurting anyone, including themselves.

The laws are getting stricter and stricter. It's not worth it...the fines, lawyer fees, possible jail time even on a first offense, insurance goes up, it's on your record...I have a family member with a substance abuse problem and has had 2 (got out of 1 on a technicality so should have been 3) so I have seen it first hand.

That being said, not everyone that gets one is an alcoholic....it can happen to anyone, like say someone coming home from having dinner and a few glasses of wine, depending on how your body metabolizes it.

I would explain your concern and tell her it's not worth it listing the above, but a lot of people think it can't happen to them. Explain someone could hit her, but she could be charged if the police smell alcohol on her breath.

I think everyone that posted gave good advice, but ultimately it's her decision but one she may regret. It's really nice that you care.


(5,909 posts)
6. Sorry, this post was supposed to be directed at OP but am too lazy to delete
Tue Oct 29, 2013, 09:24 AM
Oct 2013

and re-post so it's staying.


(38,637 posts)
4. It is a tough one
Tue Oct 29, 2013, 09:07 AM
Oct 2013

I'd start by telling her that you care for her and are concerned with her safety.

Then I wonder, is there any way for you to have your Happy Hour at a location close to her home--walking distance? Maybe you two could share a cab to and from the watering hole?

Or invite a 3rd person to be the designated driver?

And then I'd reiterate that you're truly only concerned for her safety.

Tuesday Afternoon

(56,912 posts)
7. take her to a facility and let her meet someone whose life has been drastically and forever
Tue Oct 29, 2013, 09:31 AM
Oct 2013

changed because they were survived by a Drunk Driver or take her to a cemetery and who her headstones of those who have not survived. Ask her if she is willing to live with the knowledge of carrying that on her shoulders for the rest of life ...


(10,953 posts)
8. One issue that no one is talking about
Tue Oct 29, 2013, 10:41 AM
Oct 2013

is that you say that she is a coworker so any conversation (should it go bad) can have a negative impact on the workplace. I would probably think twice about going out drinking with her if it were me.


(12,325 posts)
9. a ten dollar cab ride
Tue Oct 29, 2013, 11:28 AM
Oct 2013

is less expensive than a dui

You lose you license, your car insurance will either go up and you'll be canceled, you might spend a night in jail, the fines will be expensive, this stays on you dmv record and criminal record.

Depending on where you live, like say CA if you get another dui in less than ten years you lose your license for a year, etc.

More expensive yet is if you hit some thing or someone or kill them.

Ten dollar cab ride is better.


(42,022 posts)
10. How about you buy a personal breathalyzer and propose you both use it?
Tue Oct 29, 2013, 12:34 PM
Oct 2013

They aren't expensive and come in keychain form. After you've been at Happy Hour you might say "You know, I've been wondering what various blood alcohol levels feel like. Let's see what we blow."

If she does and sees she's legally drunk, you can say "Whoa, bet that snuck up on you. I'd feel terrible if I let you go home and something happened. How about if I call a cab?" If she refuses, then she knows she's willing to fool herself. You can do it yourself and say "Are you sure you're okay to drive? If I thought I'd let you go off and you got hurt I'd never get over it."

One of the great things about being a therapist is that I can be outstandingly (gently) rude. I can say "Do NOT drink more than a couple of drinks and drive. Everyone on the street is depending on you when you're driving, and I have seen too many tragedies that changed peoples' lives forever."

Good luck. It's delicate, but I'm glad you're broaching the subject.


loli phabay

(5,580 posts)
12. problem is people think a little buzz is okay
Tue Oct 29, 2013, 06:42 PM
Oct 2013

Its fairly easy to tell a driver who is impaired regardless of how many say they drive better, note to them you dont. So far she has been lucky in not crashing or being pulled over but luck does not last forever. No easy way to handle it she will be annoyed no matter what, make sure you dont ride with her. I have seen some people go as far as calling the cops themselves especially if its a rural area where they have more discretion, to be at the vehicle as you exit and give the pbt and lecture etc. As i said no easy way to handle it.

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