No one wants to get a phone call in the middle of the night from their loved one asking them to bail them out of jail because they made the mistake of driving drunk. At the same time, no one wants to get a call from a police officer or hospital stating their loved one has been in an accident due to drunk driving. As a friend or family member, you want to keep your loved one safe, and sometimes that means stepping out of your comfort zone to protect them.
Alcohol affects each person differently. Some individuals are friendly and some are more aggressive. Whichever way your loved one is affected, it is important for you to try and stop them from not only endangering their lives but also the lives of others.
Steps You Can Take
- Take action early. Never wait until the end of the night after your loved one is tired and possibly belligerent to where he or she won’t listen to you. Start the discussion of taking the keys once you start to notice they are well on their way to being inebriated. That way you can avoid making a scene or causing an unnecessary argument.
- Tell your loved one not to drive anywhere. You might have to be more assertive than you are used to. You may even deal with accusations of spoiling the fun or trying to be controlling. Be ready to be talked back to and don’t take things personally. Stay calm and polite and explain to your loved one that you care about them. Tell your loved one you are trying to prevent them from causing a situation where he or she could harm themselves as well as others.
- Be firm. Sometimes you might not know if you are getting through to your loved one. However, it is important to stick by your warning. Have your loved one repeat back to you what you just told them to make sure they have some grasp on what is happening. If your loved one tries to ignore your concern, don’t let up. Continue to give him reasons to convince them not to get in their car.
- Remember who you are talking to. Don’t forget that your loved one is inebriated, so be sure to speak slowly and explain things very clearly. Try to avoid sounding too condescending because they may feel too proud to take your advice if they feel like you are talking down to them.
- Lay your feelings on the line. Having a soul-bearing talk can sometimes be the best and only way to get through to someone who is highly inebriated. Sit down with your loved one and tell them as sincerely as possible how much they mean to you and how special they are.
- Get support from others. It’s not always easy to convince your loved one on your own, and sometimes it just won’t happen. Therefore, having a strong group of sober individuals might help persuade him or her not to drive. If you still can’t get your loved one to understand, you will at least have the help of others to restrain them if it comes to that. However, force should only be an option as a last-ditch measure.
- Choose a designated driver. Having a designated driver can take the pressure off and lets everyone know who can and cannot drink. It is important to make this decision before any drinking begins, if possible.
- Take away the keys. If you are not able to talk your friend out of driving, then hiding the keys may be the best route to take. You can make an excuse such as needing to use the car to run an errand.
- Call a cab. If it doesn’t seem like a good idea for your loved one to stick around or if you are unable to keep matters in your own hands, then it might be best to call a cab. Pay for the cab in advance to prevent any complications and make sure the driver has exact directions.
- Initiate a slumber party. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to convince your loved one to stay the night. If you are not at your house, make sure you get approval from the person’s house you are at. If staying the night at the host’s house is not an option, invite your loved one to stay at your house when you leave instead of driving back home. Offering a good incentive, such as making breakfast, could help entice your loved one.
- Drive your loved one and their car back home. If you drove to the party separately from your loved one, have another sober friend follow you to your loved one’s house. This way you are able to return to your home or back to the party safely.
Trying to stop your loved one from driving drunk can be one of the toughest, yet most important decisions you make. No matter how hard you try, things may not turn out the way they should. Your loved one may end up driving inebriated, and as a result, find themselves locked up in jail. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to bail your loved one out of jail, contact Mercy Bail Bonds so our team of professional bail bondsmen can help you get the process started.