Buzzed Driving

Buzzed driving IS drunk driving

  Stopping a friend from driving under the influence of alcohol may be one of the most important decisions you ever make. But convincing an inebriated buddy won't always be as easy as it sounds. After all, it's not your friend you're talking to - it's the booze and their certainty that they're okay. Follow these steps to learn how to keep a friend from driving while drunk. 

  1. Become the key controller. If your friend has driven to a party and gets drunk, your only recourse is to keep them from operating their vehicle, which they can't do without their car keys. Hiding their keys will require you to dust off your acting skills from freshman year drama class; but don't sweat it. Even if you're not that great an actor, it's pretty easy to fool someone who is drunk with any excuse you need to have their keys for - getting something you left behind in the car, moving it out of the driveway or under cover, needing to use the car briefly, etc.
    1. One way of doing this is to tell your friend that you're going to the liquor store and need to use their car. If they're drunk enough, they will forget after a few minutes. If they do remember, and confront you about it, say you changed your mind but don't bring up the keys.
    2. If you do get the keys, consider shifting the car. When your friend complains they can't find it, shrug and suggest they stay with you instead
  2. Call a cab.  If your friend gets really drunk at a party and the tide of tolerance begins to turn against them, then it's in everyone's best interest to quietly put your friend in a taxi, and send them on their way home. You should always pay for the cab in advance and make sure that the driver has explicit directions. It's even better if you have the time to accompany your friend home, to make sure they get back okay.
  3. Be prepared to be assertive.  Your drunken friend may bring up accusations of you trying to control them or spoiling the fun. Simply be prepared for this and don't take it on board. Instead, stay polite and calm and simply firmly tell them over and again that you care about them and that this is why you are preventing them from harming themselves or potentially others.
    1. Speak softly and calmly at all times. Avoid saying anything embarrassing or belittling; the anger receptors are on high alert when drunk. And don't provoke them into a confrontation, physical or verbal. 
    2. Don't give in. Keep telling your friend that you care about them and that you are not going to let them do something harmful.
  4. Turn the night into a slumber party.  Sometimes the best answer can be the simplest and most hospitable. Invite your friend to crash at your place instead of driving back home. Use an incentive like homemade burritos or your Grandma's famous biscuits and gravy.
    1. Show your friend a comfortable spot to sleep. The reality of diving into that sweet, soft sleeping spot might be enough to seal the deal.
  5. Buzzed drivingWhen you and your friends decide to go out, if you're sober and intend to stay that way, agree beforehand on a designated drive.  A designated driver takes the pressure off everyone for the night and introduces certainty as to who can and can't drink. By accepting responsibility in advance, you do your friend a huge favor and, in turn, your friend can repay this deal another time.
  6. Get your drunken friend's keys and drive both your friend and their car home.  If you drove to the party as well, get a sober friend to follow you in your car and then drive back to the party. This way your friend gets to sleep in their own bed, with their car parked outside of their home waiting for them in the morning. As a bonus, your friend won't have to be ridiculed the next day by having to show up at the scene of last night's party to retrieve the car.
  7. Have a deep and meaningful moment.  If you've exhausted all possible means of keeping your friend from driving drunk, then it's time to get serious. Sit your friend down, and tell them how much they mean to you. Tell them how you couldn't live with yourself, knowing that you could have prevented them from hurting themselves and others but did nothing. Tell them explicitly how you feel.
  8. Assign others to help you.  Sometimes convincing your friend alone just isn't going to happen. However, roping in others who are still sober, or at least in charge of their faculties, to help you restrain your friend from driving is best in this instance. The more people who see the need to help prevent the drunken person from driving, the more likely it is that those car keys will mysteriously disappear until morning with nobody saying a word.
    1. Be polite and honest when seeking the help of others. Avoid screaming or using profanity; while you care about your friend and may feel edgy about their safety, you're more likely to get support by staying calm and speaking to others respectfully. This isn't the time for drama.
    2. As a last, drastic but possibly only resort left, if you have nobody to help you and the situation gets desperate, call the police for help.

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