Last Updated on December 10, 2019 by Valarie Ward
Would you ride with a drunk driver?
Most of us immediately say no. After all, friends don’t let friends drive drunk. But what if you somehow find yourself riding with a drunk driver? What should you do? What should you know? In this blog, we’ll answer both questions,
Always Avoid Getting in the Car
The best tip is NOT to ride with a drunk driver. Period.
In most cases, you’ll be able to tell if the driver is under the influence. If they grab the keys and head for the car, you can intervene by talking them out of driving. If you’re sober, offer to drive. If you’ve both been drinking, tell them getting a cab is the best option. Their car will still be there tomorrow, but if they drive, the results could be deadly.
Remember: it’s always a good idea to designate a driver before anyone starts drinking.
What if telling your friend not to drive isn’t working? Your next best option is to refuse to get in the car. If there is someone else nearby who is closer to your friend than you, ask them to have a word. Maybe your friend will listen.
Talking a Friend Down From Drunk Driving
Talking a friend out of driving drunk can be intimidating. It can also be hard. Alcohol impacts cognitive functions, which can make reasoning with them tough. Keep these tips in mind when talking:
- Be Firm but Calm: There’s no need to yell at, belittle, or embarrass your friend. Instead, calmly remain firm and don’t bend to any alternative suggestions, like drinking water or coffee before driving.
- Be Upfront: Driving while drunk could result in any number of bad Your friend might get a DUI reflected in the police report after a car accident, hurt themselves or someone else, or even die or kill someone. Be upfront about why you don’t want them to drive drunk and why you won’t ride with them.
- Be Honest: Feelings aren’t always the easiest to voice, but be honest about how you Sometimes, the best way to get through to someone who is under the influence is to have a soul-bearing conversation. Sit them down, show them you have something important to say, and then lay it out for them. You don’t want to hurt them. You don’t want them to get hurt. You don’t want anyone to get hurt. And aside from physical injury, a DUI could destroy your friend’s life for a while. It’s not worth it.
Designating a driver is a great preventative step, but you can do more.
Your friend might not like it, but you can take away the keys and hide them. It may not feel like the best move, but if it stops them from driving drunk, it’s an option.
Public transportation is always a good call, too. Make sure you know what is available so you’re ready to offer alternatives to your friend driving. If you’re at a friend’s house or a non-public place, a slumber party is always an option that cross cancels the need to drive.
Riding With a Drunk Driver
A DUI is a serious crime in all 50 states. It can get the offender into serious trouble. If you find yourself riding with a drunk driver, here are some things you need to know:
- The DUI Could Be More Serious: If a person is driving under the influence of alcohol with a passenger, the severity of the charge can increase. Not only is the driver putting themselves at risk, but they’re also putting their passenger at risk.
- You Could Face Legal Charges: Even if you are not driving, you could end up with a charge for riding with a drunk driver. It’s referred to as enabling, and if you’re sober and riding shotgun, you could face legal consequences including being charged with a DUI along with the driver. If you’re also intoxicated, you could receive a charge.
- Riding With a Drunk Driver Equals Consent: Remember, if you ride with a drunk driver, you are by action giving your consent. As a result, you could be charged by the officer on the scene. If you’re underage, you will put the driver at risk of an even more severe charge known as Aggravated DUI, which could result in up to two years of prison time depending on the state.
Bottom line, it is NEVER okay to ride with a drunk driver.
If you find yourself in a vehicle with an intoxicated driver, do everything in your power to safely remove yourself from the situation. If your ride is drinking before driving, do everything you can to stop them from driving. If that fails, do not ride along for any reason.