My friend drives drunk. A lot. And not just “one drink too many” drunk, more like “in obviously rough shape” drunk. It not only makes me scared for her, it makes me angry: She could hurt herself or someone else, and there’s really no excuse in the era of Uber. I’ve tried talking to her about it, but she brushes it off or claims she won’t do it again, but then does, anyway. I’ve been tempted to call the cops on her just to get her to stop doing this. How do I convince her it’s not worth it before something terrible happens? 


You’re right to be worried, and you’re justified in your anger. Driving drunk is such a frustrating choice not only because of the damage it could theoretically do, but because of the attitude it reveals: “My needs and desires, even when they’re ill-advised and dangerous, are more important than the right to basic safety of everyone else around me.”

That said, I don’t think the police are your best option. Your goal is changing your friend’s bad behavior, not taking a stand, and unless the cops happen to catch your friend in the act (which they probably won’t), they won’t do that. All you’ll have to give them is “I know someone is driving home drunk in this kind of car right now.” They already know that people are driving home drunk and are trying to catch them in the act. Calling would be mainly symbolic, and you want real change.

Instead, take a page from your friend’s book. She’s demonstrated over and over that she doesn’t care about anyone but herself. So stop worrying about her feelings surrounding this decision or trying to convince her: Call her out.

When she’s about to leave, make sure to note, publicly, that she’s definitely too drunk to drive home, and you’ll call her an Uber. Bring in other people around you, and draw attention to the fact that she’s trying to do something extremely ill-advised and selfish. Offer to split cars on the way to events, so she doesn’t have her vehicle in the first place.

Basically, don’t let her get away with this in the moment.

And don’t let up. She might resent you or be embarrassed…but she should be embarrassed that she’s continuing to do this. Besides, that’s a real consequence to her behavior, and she definitely needs to understand drunk driving has real consequences. There’s a possibility she’ll cut you out for bringing this to light. But anyone who would do that is as selfish and inconsiderate as the bad decision she’s continuing to make.