How To Stop Someone From Drinking And Driving – I am afraid that my cousin will hurt himself or someone else if he drives drunk. He’s already in trouble and says he’ll stop, but he doesn’t. It could mean he loses his job. I don’t know why he keeps doing it. Our whole family is worried but doesn’t know what to do and no one wants to confront him. My husband is losing patience and thinks the only answer is I should go to the police, but that seems extreme. I know he drinks and drives around Christmas and New Years and feels powerless to do anything about it. Help me.
Your cousin is not alone. Despite campaigns and warnings, people who drink and drive are still a concern.
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Why do they do this? Some are overconfident – they believe they are the best judge of their ability to drink or drive. Others do not plan to drive and may even promise to, but make bad decisions as a result of being drunk. Do not worry more only about the potential danger to themselves or others. Or they overestimate their driving skills. Or consider them invincible.
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Whatever the reasons, the results are not good. 14% of road deaths each year are caused by drunk driving. While the number of drunk driving crashes has increased for the first time in a decade, the holiday season is likely to see an increase.
You are not alone either. There will be many people reading this who have been in a similar situation – worried about friends or relatives drinking and driving.
Ideally, your cousin would handle this on her own, but she’s either unwilling or unable to do so right now, so there are some things you can do to limit her chances of drinking and driving.
If you are together for the weekend, you can arrange to share a taxi to go places; have a designated driver; use of public transport; or spend things at home with you until he’s awake or until someone takes him back to his place at the end of the night.
Drinking And Driving
Another option is to have “dry” nights, where everyone limits their alcohol intake or sticks to soft drinks. Organizing holiday events that are not based on a restaurant, pub or club can help here. Choosing fun activities that require you to be sober will also curb the temptation to drink.
All of this puts the burden on you, not on him, but at least it helps reduce your anxiety while you’re with him. And if he is too resistant to talk about it, this will allow you to have some influence on the situation without turning it into drama.
It goes without saying that if you’re with him and he insists on driving, don’t get in the car. (More on what can be done at the end of this answer).
It wasn’t clear from your post if your cousin had a general alcohol problem – where drunk driving is part of a much wider problem. Or maybe he doesn’t usually drink too much, but can’t stop himself from getting behind the wheel when he’s over the limit.
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If his drinking problem is more serious, you can talk to him about drinking and ways to get help. The previous answer has more ideas on how to do this. He can also seek advice from his GP or Club Soda.
If it’s about not drinking and driving, you can try the above or focus more on what everyone knows. He’s been in trouble before. He seems intent on continuing to do so. If he doesn’t stop, he could lose his job.
You also know that until today, your family has not helped to solve the problem. So, he has nothing to lose by being honest and saying that this is a cause for concern, and asking him what to do and how to support him.
He can be defensive, angry, hurt or in denial. Or she might be glad someone talked about it because it gives her an opportunity to ask for and receive help.
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Alternatively, he can promise to change or claim that he will never do it again. If so, good. Ask him what his vacation plans are. Perhaps he has already thought about it and has ideas about not driving (similar to those mentioned above).
If he wants to claim that he is slightly over the line; that it is under his control; he does so only occasionally or in quiet ways; or is he a good driver and can handle drinking? You can focus on any reduction or denial he is dealing with.
There are no excuses or explanations here: he is breaking the law, being negligent and acting dangerously. There is no way around it.
You can make it clear that you and others will help him stay sober to drive, or make sure he has alternative transportation while checking to see if he’s been drinking. But drinking and driving should be stopped.
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Everyone is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to changing people’s behavior. It may take some trial and error to figure out what will help him break the habit.
You say you don’t know why he keeps doing this, but it doesn’t sound like you’re asking. Can you try it now? You will be more successful if he feels that you are making an effort to support him and that he can handle it himself.
Agreeing with your family can’t keep it going, and it’s important to be there to support him—not condone, condone, or ignore his actions. Thinking about why you were afraid to talk to him about it and supporting each other to be assertive can reduce the anxiety you all face.
A woman breathed her last as part of the Met Police’s Christmas Don’t Drink / Drive campaign. Credit: Richard Gardner / Rex Features
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There is only so much you can do, and he may continue to drink and drive despite your concerns. Remember, these are choices he makes and you cannot control or change them.
As a grieving aunt, I don’t hear from people who are concerned about just how much they’re drinking, or from the families of those with alcohol abuse problems.
I also hear from drunk drivers. Or people who have been physically or mentally (or both) injured due to alcohol-related accidents. And those who are guilty like your cousin caused death by driving under the influence of alcohol.
So I agree with your husband. If he continues to drink and drive – and if you know he is over the limit and behind the wheel – I would report him to the police. He doesn’t need to know you did it.
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He may make the wrong choice, but unfortunately, his wrong choice can be fatal for others. Try to help your cousin, but ultimately put other people’s safety first.
Petra Boynton is a social psychologist and sexuality researcher who works in the field of International Health and studies sexuality and relationships. She is The’s tormented aunt. Follow her on Twitter @drpetra.
Petra cannot print answers to every question sent, but she will read all your messages. Remember, by submitting your question to Petra, you are giving her permission to use your question as the basis for her column published online at Wonder Women.
All questions are kept anonymous and key details, facts and figures may be changed to protect your identity. Petra can only respond based on the information you provide and her advice is not a substitute for medical, therapeutic or legal advice. you are not
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In 2019, one person died every 52 minutes despite the fact that it is illegal to drive a vehicle while intoxicated on our country’s roads. That is, in one year, a total of 10,142 people died as a result of driving vehicles without alcohol. . Alcohol consumption impairs thinking, reasoning and muscle coordination – all of which are essential for safe driving. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect a person quickly. For example, a person with a blood alcohol concentration of .02 can affect their ability to perform two tasks at the same time.
Every time a driver gets behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, your life and the lives of others on the road are at risk. Here are some tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to stay safe.
Once you’ve made the right decision not to drive while impaired, the next step is to find a safe way home. Before you pick up your phone
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