It’s crunch time. You’re out with friends drinking, and all is going well. You’ve planned to take a taxi home, as usual. But then your friend, who’s clearly had too many, announces that he’ll “just have one more” because he’s driving.
You’re smart enough to know that this is trouble. But your friend is an adult, capable of making his own decisions (including this very bad one). What do you do?
Act sooner rather than later.
Don’t wait till your friend stands up and announces he’s going. Bring up the subject now, and if possible, resolve it before too much more drinking goes on.
Suggest he take a taxi or other public transport.
This is the easiest, most sensible option, if he agrees to it. Be calm and non-confrontational, and offer the alternative as if you’re suggesting a better choice of movie or restaurant.
Offer to drive him home, or find a designated driver.
There should be a DD or two around. Ask if they’d be willing to help.
Bring a friend into the conversation.
You alone could just be an annoying busybody. But two or three friends agreeing might get him to see the light.
Get those keys.
It might come to this. If his keys are in his jacket hanging on a chair, grab them. Or ask to borrow them to move his car. This is best done before you raise the subject of driving home, as he might figure out what you’re up to otherwise.
Get help from the host.
If it starts to get worrisome, take your host (or bartender) aside and explain that someone wants to leave the premises and drive drunk. Anyone familiar with host liability laws will help out.
There are a few things you should not do, however:
Don’t embarrass him.
That will be counterproductive.
Don’t be overserious.
It’s a serious matter, but these things tend to go better if you don’t make them a big deal.
Don’t give up.
Your friend’s decision could change his life for the worse. So could your decision – if you decide to let him drive.