Helping Clients Who Tend to Drive When Drunk

Consideration was given for the editing and publication of this post.

It’s sad to say, but some people frequently drive drunk. Approximately 300,000 people drive drunk in the United States every day, with few of them actually caught or cited. While this is just a small number of those who drive cars each day, it is a major problem by any number of metrics.

Some people in the law profession know people who frequently drive beyond the legal blood/alcohol level limit, be they clients, colleagues, friends, or family. In any of these cases, it is important to find a way to facilitate a safer, more socially beneficial alternative to drunk driving. So whether you are a DUI lawyer or are/know someone who drinks too much before getting behind the wheel, here are some important steps to remedying the situation.

  • Alternative Transportation. Drunk driving is the result of poor planning, possibly more than any other cause. Many people drink. Many people get intoxicated. But a comparative few drive drunk, mostly because this population forgot to anticipate the need for safe transportation following a session. Helping a person by offering to be a designated driver, facilitating the use of public transportation, or using modern services like Uber or Lyft – these are all ways to limit drunk driving due to poor planning.
  • Find Alternatives to Alcohol. By certain metrics, Alcohol is the most harmful drug in our society. It is unreasonable, though, to assume that all people (or even a significant minority of people) will stop drinking just because of its hazards. Most people need something to replace a chemical habit. As states nationwide become more open to cannabis intake, and pharmaceuticals like anti-depressants can fight the underlying urge to drink, suitable replacements are available for people who would like to stop drinking but find it hard to do so.
  • Restrict Driving Rights. Some people who routinely drive drunk simply have not been caught yet. This sense of invincibility is itself a motivator to keep driving, whatever the state of one’s BAC. Any attempt to limit this individual’s ability to drive can result in a longer life for them as well as anyone on the road they would otherwise drive upon. Of course, it is not always in your authority to restrict the driving rights of another person, but the dangers presented by drunk driving are enough to involve other parties in an attempt to stem routine recklessness on the part of the driver.
  • Sobriety. Sobriety seems impossible for many people, but through a combination of therapy, exercise, community, and other factors, it may be achieved. This is the only long term solution for someone prone to drink and drive, and though it may appear to be out of reach to some, it is more attainable than might be initially thought.

There are many people who drink and drive, introducing significant hazards to roadways and sometimes killing passengers, drivers, and bystanders. Representing a drunk driver is one thing, but helping them not to reoffend is another. The latter is an important step in rehabilitating the individual, and while this is not always your role, putting them into contact with someone who can help certainly is.