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How to stop someone from driving drunk — with or without you

If you were injured in a car accident, you may be understandably nervous about getting behind the wheel again, or your injuries may prevent you from driving for a time. Either way, you’re probably relying on friends, family members and Uber or Lyft drivers to get you where you need to go.

What happens if you get in the car with someone only to realize — once you’re on your way — that they’re under the influence. Maybe you saw them have a beer at a party, but what you didn’t see is that they had a lot of beers, and they’re in no condition to drive.

If you realize this before you get to the car, don’t get in. Further, do everything you can to keep them from driving. We know this can be difficult, but intervening can save lives. So, how do you keep someone from driving drunk?

First, don’t embarrass or criticize them. Calmly but firmly tell them that they shouldn’t drive. Let them know, “We’ve all been there” — whether you have or not.

If you can enlist others to help you, do so. This can make the situation safer for you and also help convince the other person that they are indeed in no condition to drive.

If you’re able to drive, offer to do so. (If you’ve simply had fewer drinks than they have, don’t risk it, though.) Suggest other options, like calling an Uber or cab. Offer to come back with them to get their car the next day.

Be blunt, and scare them if necessary. Tell them they could hurt themselves or someone else. They could get a DUI. If you’ve got a story about a friend who spent six months without a license and had to pick up garbage along the road for 100 hours after being arrested, use it. Let them know that you’re not just concerned about your own well-being, but theirs.

Remember that if you get in the car with someone you know is impaired, you could find yourself charged with a crime right along with them. However, if you’re injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver you were riding with, you may be able to take legal action if you didn’t realize they were impaired or were unable to extricate yourself from the situation once they were. Find out what your options are.

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