Holiday parties often offer alcoholic beverages to guests. Some of those guests might drink too much. Observing someone who is drunk setting out to drive home, you should ask, “How can I stop someone who is drunk from driving?”
The first thing you and your friends can do is to recognize that preventing drunk driving is everyone’s concern. Regardless of how well you know someone who is about to drive drunk, you have a responsibility to your host, your friends, the person who is drunk, to yourself, and to everyone else who is driving on the same roads.
Last year, between December 1, 2016 and January 8, 2017, 1,119 people were involved in crashes in Virginia that involved a drunk driver. Almost half of those people sustained injuries or died as a result of the accident. 520 people were injured and 21 people were killed. Nearly three times as many males as females died.
- Everyone attending a party at which alcohol is served should have a designated driver. If this is not the case, become the designated driver. Be willing to drive home anyone who is inebriated.
- If you are hosting the party, put arrangements in place prior to the party to have access to a driver, a cab, or public transportation for those who drink too much.
- If necessary, pay to have someone drive the person who is drunk home and pick that person up the next day and take him or her to his or her car.
- If the person is capable of managing, put him or her on some form of public transportation that will arrive in a place where a taxi is available.
- Many communities have made arrangements with taxi drivers and other drivers who will take people home at no charge. Call them if necessary.
- Make arrangements in advance with a ride-share service (uber, lyft) to be able to drive people home.
- Encourage the person to spend the night at the host’s home. Make it clear that they are expected to leave first thing the next morning.
- If you are having difficulty convincing a guest at the party that it is not safe for them to drive, enlist the support of other party guests.
- If you believe the person is truly dangerous, call the police. The inebriated person may become angry, but that is better than that person or another being killed.
One way to make this type of situation manageable from the beginning is to advise all guests that if they have had too much to drink, they will not be allowed to drive home. When they arrive for the party, collect the car keys of all guests. Have a non-drinking adult on hand to decide who does or does not get their keys when they are ready to leave the party. It is reasonable too expect that a host serving alcoholic beverages at a holiday (or other) party will accept some responsibility for the safety of the guests.
Reasonably responsible adults should be able to understand that you are trying to protect them and others. They should be willing to trust this rule before the party. Sometimes this prevents anger and arguments when someone is ready to leave the party. This is one way that you can stop someone who is drunk from driving.
If you or a loved one is injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, call Altizer Law P.C. Your injuries should be evaluated and treated immediately. If you are able to do so at the accident scene, insist that police administer appropriate blood alcohol tests to prove the state of the responsible driver. Altizer Law, P.C., has been helping people injured or the families of those killed by drunk drivers for more than 25 years. We are here to protect your interests and to fight for you to obtain the largest allowable financial compensation for your injuries and losses.