One of the reasons that drunk driving is such a persistent crime is that it’s rarely taken seriously enough by witnesses. Too many people back down when confronted with a friend who insists he or she is “okay to drive.”
There are exceptions, and they can be dramatic. Recently police in Saskatoon received a call from a man who reported that his 17-year-old son was drunk and had taken a truck without permission.
The call was too late to prevent a collision – the truck was found crashed into a tree. The boy, however, was not hurt.
Without a doubt the father did the right thing. If the boy couldn’t keep from colliding with a tree, he wouldn’t have been able to keep from hitting another car, or a pedestrian, or a child on a bicycle. The boy was, at that point, a dangerous weapon, and it was only a matter of luck that no one was hurt.
Would you have done the same if your son or daughter had gone out on the road while impaired? It’s the kind of question that would test anyone. The thought of having to weigh the arrest of a loved one against the chance of that person being involved in a deadly crash is daunting.
And that is why the time to address this question is before it happens. Talk to your teen about drunk driving, and help him or her understand the dangers. Take steps so that he or she gets the message. That might mean putting it in writing – making an agreement that there is never any drinking and driving. It will also entail dealing with peer pressure, and sometimes more severe behavioral issues.
Here’s hoping you never have to make the call.