AIBU to drop a friend for driving over the limit with MY child in the car?

(37 Posts)
RoseGarden123 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:29:30

Attended a family function at the weekend. I went over early to help set up and family friends brought my DH and DS over later. Had a lovely time and during the event I saw that friends who were driving each had a very small glass of wine but nothing that overly concerned me and the event was 6 hours long and this was at the start. The driver even commented he was just having a small one as part of a toast as he was driving.
They left at end giving DH and DS a lift home whilst I stayed behind to help clean up. During chatting in the kitchen area it came to light this friend had come out back to the kitchen on 4 or 5 occassions and downed either a large glass of wine or a spirit, apparently telling the catering staff 'not to tell the wife'. From what i could work out he had at least 2 large glasses of wine, a glass of champague and 2 glasses of brandy, and all towards the end of the evening. I don't doubt this as so many people saw him but they all assumed his wife must be driving.
Obviously my 2 year old DS will never, ever travel with these people again and I raised it with my DH. But I am still fuming and want to challenge him over it, though I know it risks the friendship. However my view is he has completely broken my trust by taking this risk with my son and that is unforgivable. Am I overreacting?

manicbmc Thu 07-Feb-13 19:31:21

I would risk the friendship.

He risked their lives.

RoseGarden123 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:31:37

P.S. Have to say neither I or DH thought noticed he was drunk and he does tend to be quite a heavy drinker so seems to 'handle' quite a lot. If we had neither DH or DS would have gotten in the car. And I am equally annoyed he put DH at risk!!!

specialsubject Thu 07-Feb-13 19:32:05

no. He risked other road users as well as your husband and son, and it was clearly deliberate.

He will do it again, and next time he may kill.

ComposHat Thu 07-Feb-13 19:34:15

I really can't see the point now that the horse has bolted, but I think YANBU to prevent your child from being driven by this arsehole man again.

WilsonFrickett Thu 07-Feb-13 19:36:02

If you challenge him he will ignore it. Far better to wait till the next family function and then call the police as he leaves in his car. However, I appreciate that's risking other peoples' safety in the mean time.

What I do know is you are not overreacting at all.

80sMum Thu 07-Feb-13 19:36:22

I don't think people should drink alcohol at all if they know they're going to be driving later the same day. Your friend behaved very irresponsibly and, from what you say, this is habitual behaviour. So no, YANBU.

ShhHesAsleep Thu 07-Feb-13 19:36:31


That's awful, and unnecessary of him to commit to the driving if he wasn't happy staying sober. It sounds premeditated and sneaky. He didn't change his mind, decide to drink on the day, and then give you the option of making alternate arrangements for your family.

I'd talk to his wife about the potential alcohol problem and let him know his behaviour was unaceptable. I'd call the police too if it'd do any good but it's too late now I suppose.

badtemperedaldbitch Thu 07-Feb-13 19:40:31

The fact that he drank in secret scares me. I'd not hesitate to report anyone drunk driving. Why would you risk it?

The man is obviously a knob. You should tell him you know and that you won't let it happen again

slhilly Thu 07-Feb-13 19:40:39

Strikes me the best way to channel your energy is into thinking about what you can do that is most likely to get him to not drink and drive in the future. What sticks and carrots can you use that will work best with him

ISeeSmallPeople Thu 07-Feb-13 19:43:21


Do call the police next time he's out with the car too.

rainrainandmorerain Thu 07-Feb-13 19:43:42

YANBU to be livid. That is shocking and dangerous behaviour. What does your dh think about it btw? Doing anything at all will be hard if he basically doesn't want to do anything about it...

i would probably dump the friend and tell them why. i wouldn't expect the drink driver to admit he has done wrong or to change.

Depending on what they are like and what the relationship
is like, I might well tell the wife. if i thought she would be furious. If I thought she would be mimsy and make excuses for her husband I wouldn't waste my energy.

echt Thu 07-Feb-13 19:44:44

The fact that he deliberately drank in secret, and must have known he was over the limit shows that threats may not work anyway, he'll just continue to drink on the sly.

Don't let him drive your family again, and tell him why.

rainrainandmorerain Thu 07-Feb-13 19:46:04

Oh - don't bother thinking how you can incentivise him to not drink and drive in the future. If he's drinking that heavily when he knows he shouldn't, and 'jokily' hiding it from the wife, nothing you do will make any difference.

Just keep your kids out of his car and if he drinks and drives again, shop him.

RoseGarden123 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:46:27

I have chatted to DH and we do feel that on reflection, looking at a lot of different things that have happened in the past that maybe there is a drink problem. Last year we were all on holiday together and he claimed to have dropped a full bottle of brandy we were going to try and so it smashed but both DH and I thought he was acting quite drunk that night even though no-one had had more than 2 medium glasses of wine. Also DH says he knows he hides drinks in his shed but had always thought it was because his wife is quite anti-drinking (maybe for good reason).

Wish I'd put the pieces together sooner. Still fuming though!

AThingInYourLife Thu 07-Feb-13 19:47:49

I couldn't be friends with the kind of person who deliberately drove while over the limit.

DeepRedBetty Thu 07-Feb-13 19:48:25

yanbu. I dropped a friend for driving my children around while yabbering into her hand held mobile, I'd have no compunction about dropping this man in it as deep as I could. 'Don't tell the missis hahaha' - pshaw!

(Actually might go and add 'pshaw' to the old fashioned words thread)

RoseGarden123 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:48:30

P.S. DH is fuming but doesn't think we should anything just avoid travelling with them again, he is very on-confrontational. But I would feel awful if soemthing happened I hadn't at least challenged the behaviour.

TheCatIsEatingIt Thu 07-Feb-13 19:49:57

If you drop him, you jeopardise your friendship with his wife. If she's important to you, think carefully. You're absolutely NBU to be fuming, though.

DeepRedBetty Thu 07-Feb-13 19:50:39


He's at Stage 3 alcoholism. Now in need of professional help, which will only be any good if he chooses to access it.

His wife will need her friends.

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 19:55:02

I feel sorry for his wife.

I bet she was trying to watch him, with him joking away about her trying to "control his drinking because she is a control freak" or something hmm.

I think you should confront him, but also tell his wife that you think he has a drink problem, so she can talk to you if she wants to.

He's probably one of those people who everyone loves because he is the life and soul of the party, but is hell to live with.

marriedinwhite Thu 07-Feb-13 19:56:46

I'm with your DH. Your son is fine although you now know another, perhaps more vulnerable side of your friend and his relationship with his wife. I would never let my children travel with him again but I wouldn't confront him about it and I wouldn't cause a massive row over it. I feel most for his wife who might at some stage need the support of close friends and causing a rumpus over this is not the right way to be there for her in the future. At some stage I mightly gently talk to her about addiction but not at present.

I don't think a challenge from you; as a friend is likely to stop him drinking in the short term to be honest.

Yfronts Thu 07-Feb-13 19:58:28

I would text him and the wife and just say that 'staff said you had had 2 large glasses of wine, a glass of champague and 2 glasses of brandy before driving x home'

I'd give him a chance to clear it up first.

AThingInYourLife Thu 07-Feb-13 19:59:57

Definitely report him next time.

Shenanagins Thu 07-Feb-13 20:12:31

Yanbu. To be honest if it was me i would go off the deep end and confront. I wouldn't care if it caused a massive scene as i would never want to be in their presence ever again.

Punkatheart Thu 07-Feb-13 20:21:27

A friend of mine was killed by a drink driver so I really feel strongly about this.

I would, like Shenanagins, confront.

RoseGarden123 Thu 07-Feb-13 20:22:39

Reflecting on this some more and some of the comments here, I don't want to isolate wife if there is a bigger problem here. I may try confronting but in a calm manner, saying how unacceptable I find the bahaviour, how it has deeply upset me and DH and how it has resulted in us losing our trust in him, I will also be clear that I would not hesitate in calling the police if I thought this happened again. What saddens me the most is DS means a lot to this couple, they are older than us, they don't have children and they dote on our son. They spoli him rotten at every opportunity and relish any chance to be with him. I would hope a realisation of how seriously we take this may be a wake up call. If I don't say anything and leave it, and god forbid something happens and someone is hurt, I will feel that I was almost complicit in the risks taken by not saying anything. I will and always have done given the wife my full support.

MammaTJ Thu 07-Feb-13 20:24:17

It is a no brainer for me! 'Risking' the friendship is their problem not yours, they have already doen that as well as risking your loved ones lives.

DeepRedBetty Thu 07-Feb-13 20:27:04

Best wishes to you and to your friend - and her husband. This is going to be a long hard road. I do hope he hears this wake-up call - but as I said before, AA/detox/rehab can only work when the addict really, really wants to be clean/sober.

pigletmania Thu 07-Feb-13 20:47:38

I would not drop te friend, but woud ever let him drive my chidren again

rainrainandmorerain Thu 07-Feb-13 20:57:12

That sounds like a kind response, Rose. I wouldn't expect it to change his behaviour, tbh, but you'll have been open and not isolated the wife. She may well be very very upset but that's not your doing.

And what Deepredbetty said.

WilsonFrickett Thu 07-Feb-13 21:58:26

If he's hiding alcohol in the shed from his 'disapproving' wife then she will need you OP. I admire you for wanting to stick by her. But if he drinks drive to your knowledge again, you can't let the friendship cloud your judgement. Call the police. You sound very caring and I don't want you to have a tragedy on your hands. ((hugs))

DoJo Thu 07-Feb-13 22:20:44

YADNU - I cut a friend off completely when she offered my husband a lift home and told him she hadn't been drinking when I knew she had. I was just so livid that she would a) offer a lift when there was no need (other lifts available to us and her) b) lie about how much she had drunk so that he couldn't make an informed decision. I would have shopped her to the police but she was driving a hire car at the time and I couldn't remember the make or reg no, but we never saw her again and she's bloody lucky she didn't wake up the next day with her teeth in her pocket.

RoseGarden123 Fri 08-Feb-13 10:39:04

Thank you, I am going to speak to them this evening.

Floggingmolly Fri 08-Feb-13 12:19:29

If I was sure his wife wasn't driving, then I'd have his head on a plate, never mind trying to maintain the friendship. You can't justify this.

RoseGarden123 Fri 08-Feb-13 12:23:39

Thanks - I'm sure his wife wasn't driving, it was the first question I asked DH when I got home. It is not about maintaining the friendship that I am bothered about, I am still fuming. As said above, as far as I am concerned he put my son and my DH at risk and that is unforgivable, whatever the circumstances. But i would like to offer him the opportunity to admit he has a problem and would suport his wife if this comes to light.
I still want his head on a plate but not sure that is the best or the most constructive way to handle it, when I really hope that this is a way of maybe making him think twice and not repeat the same action in the future.

Floggingmolly Fri 08-Feb-13 12:28:56

Yes, of course. You're much nicer than me grin

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