We’ve all been there: your buddy, your customer, or the guy two seats down at the bar has had too much. Too much to drink, too much to drive are lethal mixes. He says he feels fine and he’ll be careful and it’s only a short drive home anyway.
He insists he doesn’t need a ride or a cab or a cup of coffee. He’s fine, really.
But you know the truth. He’s on his way to becoming a statistic.
Car accidents from drunk driving occur about every half hour in the nation and every hour sees another death caused by a drunk driver. Your buddy, your customer, or the guy at the bar can walk out the door and turn into a killer behind the wheel.
What can you do to prevent another death from drunk driving car accidents? You have plenty of opportunities to save a life.
Take away the keys. Start a conversation. Offer some food.
Many bars and restaurants now offer coin-operated breathscan devices that can instantly detect breath alcohol content (BAC) that’s over the legal limit. Why not challenge your friend to a test? Tell him you’ll go first; make a game out of it, make a bet, make a difference.
Ongoing research shows intervention is the key to reducing alcohol abuse and its deadly consequences. Once a drunk driver is in his vehicle, it’s too late to help him and the people he may hurt or kill on his way home.
The solution may be as simple as offering a meal and measuring his BAC; or it may be as serious as helping him find a confidential alcohol abuse treatment program.
Next time you’re at the bar, look around you. Take care of your friends, your customers, yourself and the strangers you’ll never know on public highways.
Sometimes the small steps you take to delay a driver by an hour or two can be the difference between everyone getting home safely and someone never making it home at all.