It’s a scene played out in many homes and venues across Australia each weekend. A mate has had too much to drink and wants to drive their car home. Would you stop them?
While thankfully I have never been put in this position myself, nearly half (47 per cent) of Australians have been around someone when they were about to drink or drug drive. And the vast majority (81 per cent) of them had taken it upon themselves to prevent their loved-one from getting behind the wheel.
Slater and Gordon recently surveyed 2,000 Australians and the result showed that we would go to great lengths to stop family and friends from drink or drug driving.
In fact, 1 in 12 people would call the police on their mates, while 1 in 7 would actually remove an engine part to immobilise their vehicle.
Other ways that Australians prevented drink or drug driving were: reasoning with the drinker, hiding their keys, ordering a taxi, giving them a lift home or enlisting help from others.
Just 6 per cent of people surveyed said they wouldn’t take any action at all, and from my experience they either wanted to avoid an ugly confrontation or they believed it was simply none of their business.
It’s a really positive sign from this research that most Australians want to prevent drink driving and they would use a range of strategies to do it.
Alcohol continues to be a major factor in serious casualties on our nation’s roads with more than one quarter of fatal crashes involving a driver who is under the influence.
Importantly though, a huge majority of people clearly know the devastating impact road trauma can have, and they are actually taking steps to prevent it.
The bottom line is, as community members we need to weigh up whether it’s worth staying silent just to avoid a single moment of awkwardness.
In my view, it’s best that you don’t put your mates and loved ones in the terrible position of having to stop you from drink driving in the first place.