Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.
So I’m not much of a friend, I guess.
The other weekend, a friend from out of town came up. She played black jack at the bar while I was at work and worked out and I met her with another friend at about 11. When we caught up with her she was already a few sheets to the wind and proceeded to order two more beers while we sat at Bar No. 1.
Our male friend had Diet Coke, I had water. I like a good beer here and there, but most of the beer at the bars in this town isn’t what I would call good, so it really just amounts to empty calories. Plus I was driving. I have a hand-me-down auto start, which is why I think my friends like it when I drive.
After two rounds at Bar No. 1, we decided to head off to Bar No. 2. My female friend had almost a whole beer, so she chugged it. Off to my toasty car we went.
At Bar No. 2 my female friend quickly disappeared while my male friend an I took a seat near the dance floor to critique the drunks around us. This has become quite a game. I saw my female friend at the black jack tables for a bit, but then she disappeared quickly into the crowd, only to reappear shortly before I yelled “Lights are on, make sure she’s cute!” — a warning to the oil field workers who may be taking “home” not-so-cute girls.
At this point, we decided to get some food.
My friend was a bubbling idiot at the restaurant. She kept talking about women’s rights, and how there should be a study to see how it affects the American family, but in the next breath says she knows she doesn’t want to get married and have kids yet. I was getting ready to punch her Republican face, until I remembered she was a drunk bumbling idiot at the time.
Food in the tummy does help absorb alcohol and sober you up, but I don’t think she had quite enough food. I had told her time and time again my guest room or couch was more than available to her.
When we got to her car to grab her pajamas, she elected to get in her car and drive the 30 miles home, rather than grab the jammies and hop back in my car. She said she needed to be up early.
I was feeling a little guilty at the time. And the more I think about it, the more I know I was wrong. I should have locked her in my back seat until she got to my place. I should have made her give my male friend the keys to her car and drive it to my place so she could leave extra early and her car would be right there. I should have done so many things, because what if something bad happened. What if she got a DUI? What if she drove off the road and hurt or killed herself? What if she got in a collision and killed someone else? I would be forever racked with guilt because I could have prevented that.
Luckily, I got a text about an hour later saying she had made it home. She promised to take “back roads” so as to avoid cops as well as other drivers.
I never drive if I’ve had more than two beers. In fact, if I can feel even the tiniest affect of alcohol, I hand over the keys.
But North Dakotans don’t have this attitude, I’ve come to find. I don’t know if it’s the ruralness of the state and the dependence on vehicles, or if it’s an overabundance of cheap beer, or if it’s the low consequences of a DUI, compared to other states. It bothers me how quick people are to get behind the wheel when they’ve been drinking.
I don’ t know what can be done to change the attitudes of drinkers and drivers in this state, but it scares me how much it happens. If you drink, don’t drive. And if you’re friend drinks, don’t let her drive. This happened a few weeks ago and I still feel guilty, like I’m a really crappy friend.