DEAR ABBY: A few weeks ago, I met a group of friends at a local pub. "Charlie" was the designated driver. As the evening progressed, I noticed Charlie was drinking beer. When I mentioned it, he said he'd had only three. Then he insisted he was fine and "it was only beer."
I tried to explain the danger of driving while "buzzed" and told him I'd walk home. Charlie then became insulted that I didn't trust him to know his limits. He said I should relax and quit being so uptight.
A few days later, some of my friends told me I had caused "unnecessary drama" that night and that my standards for the designated driver were "unrealistic." They also said that Charlie wasn't drunk and was totally capable of driving. But the fact remains, our designated driver wasn't sober, and I wasn't comfortable getting into a car with him.
I voiced my opinion; now I'm being punished for it. Did I judge Charlie too harshly? -- VALUES MY SAFETY, DAVIS, CALIF.
DEAR VALUES YOUR SAFETY: Not in my book, and not in the one published by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. In its California Drivers Handbook, under the section titled "Designated Driver Program," it lists the requirements for someone to be a designated driver. Among them: "Must abstain from consuming alcoholic beverages for the duration of the outing." That means not drinking anything with alcohol in it. Zilch!
You were right to speak up. In the future, if you decide to socialize with these folks, arrange to meet them. And if the location is not within walking distance, take a cab.