DEAR HARRIETTE: I went to a party with a group of friends, and my friend who was driving had way too much to drink. We tried to take her keys away from her, but she refused and got quite loud. In the end, my husband and I refused to ride with her. We learned that she got home safely, but we were really upset that she wouldn't let us help her. She claimed that she is grown and can do what she wants. So she blew us off.
I always see these notices that friends should not let friends drive drunk. We really tried, but we were unsuccessful. What can you do if your friend doesn't go along with the safety program? -- Unsafe, Boston
DEAR UNSAFE: You took the right action to attempt to take the keys away from your friend. That she got loud is not reason enough to stop trying to get those keys. Instead of giving up, you could have asked other friends to help you talk her down. You could have offered to call her a cab, or suggested that you would give her a ride home or allow her to sleep over.
What was dangerous was leaving her at the party. While she is not ultimately your responsibility, it would have been smart for you to wrest those keys from her in virtually any way possible. Too many people die because they get behind the wheel when under the influence. You would be devastated if you left your friend in a position like that. Let her be mad at you -- at least she'll be alive. For ideas, visit: friendsdrivesober.org/student_involvement/stop_a_friend.html.