The WC – Stopping Drunks from Driving

June 28, 2013 11:59 am · 25 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

Have you ever stopped, or tried to stop somebody from drinking & driving? If so, what did they say to you when you did what you did?

Talk about it….

Killjoy June 28, 2013 at 12:05 PM

When I was younger and had parties, I collected everyone’s keys at the beginning. No keys, no drinks. Everyone was fine with it.
They also brought sleeping bags. 😉

Jeff June 28, 2013 at 12:13 PM

They were high on Norco (synthetic Heroin) not on alcohol. I took away their keys. They called the Sheriff and the Sheriff arrested me for false imprisonment. True story. It took a 2-year legal entanglement and a Jury trial to clear my name.

Diablo June 28, 2013 at 12:14 PM

They took a swing at me, but thanked me later.

Jane June 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM

No. People have to live by the decisions they make.

Emily June 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Sweden, which used to have a terrible drunk-driving problem, dealt with it by passing and enforcing laws that ensure anyone caught driving with any alcohol in their system pays hefty fines and automatically loses their license. Where there is injury or accident, the perp can expect to go to prison.
Pretty drastic, but it does take the ‘I only had a cupplabeers I’m fine to drive’ self assessment out of the picture.

Great Topic June 28, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Anytime I host a party I offer for everyone drinking to stay the night. I’ve never let anyone leave drunk. Unfortunately in public it isn’t that easy. You can offera ride, even try to take keys, but ultimately they need to be responsible.

Rob June 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Jane June 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM
No. People have to live by the decisions they make.

Unfortunately it isn’t always just the drunk that has to live with those decisions its the innocent adults and children who the drunk injures or kills and the family members have to pick up the pieces.

The Mamba June 28, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Sure, they thanked me for it.

Mad Mom June 28, 2013 at 1:15 PM

If you knew someone was impaired and you did nothing. Then let’s say for the sake of argument that that person crashed and killed an innocent person like Rob mentioned…could you live with your decision? I can’t think of very many things in life that are as black and white as you make it seem.

Incognito June 28, 2013 at 1:20 PM

I’ve done the same as Killjoy. I’ve collected keys upfront in the past when I hosted a party (such as New Year’s) Made my rules known upfront, if you don’t like it, don’t bother showing up. You had two options, stay over or I called cabs. No one had a problem with it.

Years ago I had a girl friend who ended up very drunk (it appeared to me) at the end of the evening when I invited her over. I started realizing she probably had a few BEFORE she arrived at my house. There were many times I took keys away and she slept on my couch. Gradually, I stopped inviting her over.

If I’m invited to a party (such as New Year’s) I’ll accept the invite if I can stay the night.

Perhaps I am one of the lucky ones. My parents raised me to be responsible and to also understand there are consequences for your actions in life. So, the idea of drinking and driving (no matter what age) is something I cannot fathom. Perhaps it’s the attitude of those who continue to think “it will never happen to me” and the fact we’ve seen what I wold consider only minor consequences as a result when you kill someone while driving drunk.

Random Task June 28, 2013 at 2:17 PM

she was obviously texting ……lets look at the real monster …texting while driving is going to over come dui in less than 5 years …….and most drunks are over 21 where as most texting incidents will be the 16 and up variety so more kids crashing is obviously tolerated as I do not see every weekend texting dragnets going up just a whole night of traffic and 2 dui suspects and 15 to 20 cars impounded ……hmmmm seems more like a income scam more than an actual problem solver

Jane June 28, 2013 at 2:19 PM

@mad mom

“…could you live with your decision?”

My decision is to let people live with the consequences of the decisions they make. You need to learn to keep you nose out of other’s business. You may be a mom, but you’re not my mom. People like you make me sick.

anonanonagain June 28, 2013 at 2:23 PM

My mother years ago dated an alcoholic. He was a nice man with a huge drinking problem. My mother had an alcoholic mother and brother and understood his problems. So I assumed at my brother’s wedding that surely she would not let him drive them home after the celebrations. He was obviously very intoxicated and I said something to her about it. She assured me she wouldn’t let him drive. A few hours later at the hotel I was staying at I got a call saying that my mother was being flown by helicopter because her car slammed into a tree. She was a mess, he barely had a scratch on him. She let him drive anyway, saying she didn’t want to offend him or get into an argument……. She still lives with her injuries to this day.

Anon2you June 28, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Unfortunately, I have walked both sides of the this particular line…Not proud of it, just a statement. I definitely offer and try to insist that no one ever drinks and drives, but sad to say, that doesn’t always work out. I have had to really insist a couple of times, successfully, but people are adults and have to make their own decisions as well…I only wish I had listened or been offered the option on my “bad decision” but that was a much different time and we lived in a different world then. Today it is much more acceptable to have a designated driver or sleep on someone’s couch or spare bed or floor etc. If I have more that 3 drinks in a 5 hour period there is no way I would consider driving, I am also lucky that I don’t really go out drinking anymore and when I do go out I DON’T drive, I setup a way home beforehand…walk, taxi, designated driver, pick-up, or stay over etc…

@Jane, #4 June 28, 2013 at 2:46 PM

You said “No. People have to live by the decisions they make”. That may be correct, as far as it goes, but have you considered that others may die by those decisions?

I'm Your Huckleberry June 28, 2013 at 2:57 PM

There’s a lot to be said for the campaign slogan: “Friends don’t let their friends drive drunk”.

Who do you usually drink socially with? Friends and family.

Something tells me if you have a conscience and really care about your friends and your family, you wouldn’t want them to drive drunk. You would step forward and do something. Why? 1. Because you care about them, and 2. Because you care about what would happen to them, their future, and deep down you really do care about the potential victim as a result of this.

totally embarassed June 28, 2013 at 3:04 PM

I was on the receiving end of someone taking my keys away. I had been at a wine tasting party and tasted wine for a couple of hours (small sips, mind you !). when the time came to go home, I was walked to my car and was told that someone would drive me home. Being a stubborn Taurus the bull (and feeling empowered by the wine), I emphatically told them I was okay to drive. I even tried to do that crazy dance that the gal in bridesmaids did when she was stopped by the policeman. Well, my dance probably proved to them that I shouldn’t drive (I think I almost tripped and fell down). The final straw was that I was told I could drive home if an ex-police officer could do an assessment on me. I thought I passed the assessment with flying colors. I was told that I was impaired. So, I spent the next couple of hours waiting in the home until I was capable of driving. Now mind you, I don’t drink and drive EVER EVER EVER. Two of my family members were hit head-on by drunk drivers. That night I just overindulged and I am so thankful that I was stopped in my tracks. When I finally went to my car to go home, I was told to open the hood. Something had been disconnected so that even if I got ahold of my keys (which I eventually did – I thought they did not notice), the car would not start. I feel totally embarrassed and ashamed that I even tried to drive sloshed. I called the next day and apologized to the parties and thanked them for making me stay. I read the article about that young woman who hit the motorcyclist. That could have been me. I learned my lesson, and if someone feels the need to take my keys, I will willingly turn them over.

Anon June 28, 2013 at 3:10 PM

@ Jane,

If you let someone leave your house drunk, you are also held liable if they are in an accident. Legally Liable. Live with that choice.

Go down there right now... June 28, 2013 at 3:19 PM

… and start taking keys from people exiting bars. Or call 911 and tell them you’ve uncovered a massive conspiracy to put drunk drivers on the road – tell them you’re witnessing people RIGHT NOW actually getting into cars drunk and driving away. My point is our society is completely two faced regarding drunk driving. On the one hand we talk a good game with our MADD and our DUI checkpoints, and then we do all we can with advertising, zoning, lack of public transportation, and general cultural zeitgeist to encourage as many people as possible to do two things: drink, and drive. The carnage will continue as long Anheuser Busch and other alcohol giants spend millions to drill home the message that what we all really want, at the end of the day, is just to consume alcohol.

Bill June 28, 2013 at 3:38 PM

What you fail to mention Emily is that Sweden has a fantastic Public Transportation system that makes it an easy choice to not drive if one might have a drink!! Obtaining a drivers license is also ten fold more expensive and rigorous requiring many hours of anti drunk driving discussion. When does the County Connection stop running?? BART?? Are there trolleys/ streetcars in CoCoCounty?? Do the meter maids rush out to the bar areas every Friday & Saturday morning to issue tickets to the responsible drivers who obviously took a can home?? It’s all a scam to extract money from otherwise honest law abiding citizens.. BTW, the vast majority of DUIs are very low alcohol level >.12… Texting and driving has been proven more dangerous than driving slightly above .08… Too bad our society can’t come up with solutions that don’t involve fines and incarceration!!

Howard K Mullins III June 28, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Many years ago I had a friend who could not get his life back together after a nasty divorce. He began to drink. Lost his job, lost about everything.

I found him one night in a local bar and attempted to take him home. In his drunken belligerence he refused to let me drive, he wanted to take his own car. He could not even stand.

I said everything and it got to the point where he was shoving me. I ended up hitting him as hard as I could, knocked him senseless. I then took him home to let him sleep off his drunk.

He never spoke to me again. He died a few years later.

Lorelei June 28, 2013 at 4:08 PM

We need a law that places cell phones in the same category as open containers…..they have to ride in the trunk! I see SO much texting in cars all around me and I’m very concerned when I go out walking, that someone will run me off the sidewalk! Wanna check your phone messages/texts? Pull off the road, go to your trunk and check. Then, lock the phone BACK in the trunk, and proceed down the road. You’re welcome.

31 Years Sober June 28, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Have stopped people from driving, have called cops and had them busted when they took off drunk.
You might have a problem if last thing you remember is talking about Jamaica, and now you’re there.
Or you find your car at the bottom of a ravine in the morning, with you in it.
Or there’s no door knob on your side of the door.
Still haunts me to this day, I drove drunk with my kids in the car and thought it was ok.

PH Neighbor June 28, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Yesterday after a funeral a friend needed to be driven home. We were more than happy to drive him home. We’re Non Drinkers for many years now.

Yes, I feel like @ Totally Embarrassed. It has happened to me, I felt like I could drive. I got the chills the next morning knowing I should never have driven home. It’s just horrible to think of all the things that could have happened!

KK June 29, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Me and friend actually stopped a complete stranger from driving home from a bar drunk. They could barely walk and were attempting to get into their vehicle. My friend drove the strangers car home and I followed in mine. We drove her from concord to anticoh. Probably saved her life and other lives on the road that night.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: