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alcohol and driving

(25 Posts)
MissWing Sat 13-Oct-12 10:38:23

When we were teenagers, my sister and I were always bothered when my dad would drink with sunday lunch and then drive us to the station. (My father and stepmother are very gastro and the wine is high quality and plentiful). The one time my sister raised it they got pretty angry, nothing changed.

Now I have a son and he's getting to an age where they will soon be asking to take him on day trips.

My husband and I have agreed that as far as we are concerned no a$ount of alcohol before driving is safe.

The issue is present throughout the day (trip to local arts centre at 11am on a sat- 2 large glasses of white each)

I do consider their drinking heavy (a bottle of wine each per day, 2 on sundays) and my dad makes a point of saying 'that's abstemious' whenevr I decline a glass (more which is often as I'm not big on wine)

I see the point of giving them the car seat as the opportunity to request that they don't drink before driving our son. Am I being unreasonable?

Proudnscary Sat 13-Oct-12 10:40:34


Of course YANBU not to want your son to be driven around by over-the-limit drivers and of course drink driving is wrong.

BUT you cannot always change, or expect to change, people. You have to work around it and might well have to end up deciding not to get into situations where they have to drive him.

MrsKeithRichards Sat 13-Oct-12 10:41:31

They still drink and drive?

Why haven't you reported them?

Are you seriously considering trusting them not to drink and drive when your child is there?

EmmalinaC Sat 13-Oct-12 10:44:07

The law says a small amount of alcohol is acceptable before driving so you would be unreasonable to insist they abstain completely...

But it sounds as if you're talking about more than that which is dangerous and obviously illegal.

So of course you should say something!

Proudnscary Sat 13-Oct-12 10:45:52

MrsKR - I know plenty of oldies who drink and drive - there has been literally NOTHING I can do to stop it as they minimise the amount they've drunk and have arbitrary, self-imposed drink driving limits that are not in line with official drink drive guidelines ('I've only had two drinks though!' Yes but they were quadruple G&Ts). The only solution is not to allow them to drive my kids around.

MrsKeithRichards Sat 13-Oct-12 10:47:49

No, you pick up the phone, tell the police, hope they got caught and that might just change their attitudes.

Age is no excuse for ignoring the law and you shouldn't enable it.

snooter Sat 13-Oct-12 10:49:11

I think this is going to be a big problem - if you mention it you will cause annoyance, if you ask them not to drink before driving your son you will cause offence & even if they say they won't, will you actually trust them not to? Heavy drinking amongst the middle aged & elderly causes more problems than among the young - they often don't see it as unacceptable because they're used to it & a couple of big glasses hardly touch the sides - doesn't mean they're not over the limit & having their already ageing & failing reaction-times worsened. My husband has gradually begun to drink then drive home if we're out in the evening - not much usually, but it can be as much as 2 pints. I hate it - I never have anything if I'm driving but don't see why I ought to drive all the time. it doesn't seem to affect his driving, but perhaps that's just because he hasn't had an accident yet...

MrsKeithRichards Sat 13-Oct-12 10:50:32

Fucking hell, here was me thinking it was 2012 not 1972!

Mintyy Sat 13-Oct-12 10:55:30

Yes, you might annoy them, but would you really not say something for fear of causing offence?

If you really can't trust them not to drink and drive during the daytime (and I wouldn't given what you've told us) then you'll simply have to decline to let them have a car seat or take your ds out.

This is what is commonly known as a no-brainer.

snooter Sat 13-Oct-12 10:57:19

Absolutely - your son's safety os paramount

snooter Sat 13-Oct-12 10:57:32

is not os

oldraver Sat 13-Oct-12 11:03:15

No, I would never let anyone drive my son who I though would drink and I wouldn't be bothered about offending them either (wouldn't be arsey, but would explain my stance). Just as I wouldn't let my DC's travel without a car seat.. not a problem now but with my 26 year old I was seen as a fusspot for not letting him sit on my knee so some relative could cadge a lift.

snooter Sat 13-Oct-12 11:10:38

My in-laws never drank & drove my son; in fact they never drove him anywhere for years because they were terrified of having an accident with him in the car. Not that they have lots of accidents or anything. They just kept him in their house & garden till he was so bored with going there he didn't want to go at all. If they came to our house to look after him they would walk as far as the small local park but that was it. Sigh.

thursday Sat 13-Oct-12 11:20:44

you can but ask, if they say no then they dont get to drive him around. have you really only raised this once ever with them? if they are thoroughly in denial that this is not ok behaviour, regardless of how high quality the booze is hmm then i'd anonymously shop them, before they run someone else's child over.

MrsKeithRichards Sat 13-Oct-12 11:24:38

Not letting them take your lo in the car means your lo won't get injured because of their ignorance, just someone else's, so that's ok!

snooter Sat 13-Oct-12 11:26:44

You can't feel guilty for the ignorance of someone random that you don't know.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 13-Oct-12 11:29:16

It's not just about your children though, OP. It's all the other people who get killed and maimed because of drink drivers. How would you feel if somebody else had been drinking, at the same level as your driving parent, mounted the kerb and killed your child.

Drink driving is abhorrent and the limit in the UK should be zero as it is nearly everywhere else.

Dawndonna Sat 13-Oct-12 11:47:48

If you wouldn't do it, then others don't get to do it. Simple as that.
Agree with Lying the limit should be zero.

snooter Sat 13-Oct-12 12:41:19

Very difficult to make it absolutely zero though 5mg/dl like the Icelanders have would be fine. This will never happen in the UK of course - the Government is considering reducing it to 50mg/dl from the 80mg/dl we currently have. 5mg/dl would catch out all those who drive the morning after the night before.

GhostShip Sat 13-Oct-12 13:14:16

There's absolutely no excuse for drinking driving and anyone who does is an idiot

A child of mine would not be in the car with someone who has had alcohol

fluffyraggies Sat 13-Oct-12 13:29:45

OP you're right that you wont be able to change them (without you reporting them, which seems unlikely).

Therefore it is a simple choice - you let them take your DS or you don't.

If you don't want to let them take him i would keep the fuss to a minimum, wait till they suggest an outing, and then say in a breezy matter fact way "No, i can't let you take DS out in the car as you and DF (or you and DSM) drink while you're out. Sorry. It wouldn't be right."

End of.

It's completely reasonable, and they can't argue. If they do - just repeat "I wouldn't be happy, no ... " ad infinitum.

surfingbabies Sat 13-Oct-12 13:37:44

My DP mother is on her second ban but when she wasn't banned she could not be trusted to wether she'd had a drink or no so I used to just say no sorry your not driving my children as I wouldn't even have one and drive, that's the example I want to set on my children so if you don't agree with it then I'm sorry but you can't drive them! There is no way on this earth I would risk it! It's slightly different for me as she's an alcoholic but from what you've said your parents drink too much and it's only a matter of time before they get caught! I would be worried about the levels while driving your children and also the example they are settling as children are not stupid and they can see how much they are drinking, so surely when they are older they will think well if grandma and grandad did then its fine!!

surfingbabies Sat 13-Oct-12 13:38:49

You'd also never forgive yourself if something bad happened all because you didn't say anything because you didn't want to upset then it would be too late sad

Birdsgottafly Sat 13-Oct-12 13:59:24

Do they have random stop and searches where you live?

I wouldn't want my DF arrested infront of my child and being taken to a police station.

Aside from the illegal aspect of it.

Does your DF realise that he is over the limit and thus isn't insured?

I personally wouldn't travel in an uninsured car, nor would i allow my child to.

Hopeforever Sat 13-Oct-12 14:06:45

You can get DIY breath tests for alcohol levels to show them they are over the limit, but I'd go with the simple option of them not driving you or your child

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