Any resident of Canada would tell you that drinking is a big part of the culture in the country, and in contrast to the United States, people in Canada can legally start drinking quite young. The legal drinking age in most of Canada is 19, with Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec being the exceptions to this rule with a legal drinking age of 18 years old. Underage drinking is also allowed in Manitoba at the ages of 16 and 17 if parental supervision is provided.
This young drinking age means a huge part of the population has the potential to get behind the wheel of a car while drunk, and although each province has strong impaired driving laws, the safest option for everyone is to stop someone impaired from driving in the first place.
If you’ve ever been in a situation where you’ve had to stop someone who wanted to drive drunk, you know how difficult it can be to persuade them to hand over the keys. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you stop a drunk driver before they drive.
Don’t be confrontational
When someone is intoxicated, they can have a trigger temper. If you’re trying to stop someone from drunk driving, don’t approach that person in a confrontational way. Speak quietly and slowly, and try to avoid getting the person agitated.
Do suggest some other way home
The best way to stop an impaired driver is to have a way home already established long before you go out. Have a cab waiting for you at the door when you’re ready to leave or ask a friend to be the designated driver. That way there is no confrontation at the end of the night.
Don’t let them have access to their keys
If you don’t feel as though the conversation will result in you being able to stop the person from driving while impaired, ask for their keys at the beginning of the evening or try to take away the keys in a non-confrontational way.
Do call the police if you feel you need to
There are cases where pedestrians are hit and killed by drunk drivers, all because they were trying to stop them from driving in the first place. The potential for injury is huge when you’re around someone who is determined to drive impaired, so if you don’t feel as though you can stop the person, call the police. They may end up arrested for impaired driving, but you’ll have saved them from making a big mistake.
Friends really don’t let friends drive drunk. If you’re ever in a situation where you need to stop a drunk driver, these tips should help you get control over the situation.